Sydney’s Batch Brewing Co have claimed the mantle of the largest equity crowd fund in Australian liquor industry history after its successful $1.5 million capital raise closed on what was a very Good Friday last week for the inner west brewery.

The previous highest alcohol-related crowd fund was $933,500 back in 2018 by Margaret River company The West Winds Gin while Batch’s campaign also became the fastest alcohol raise in this country to hit its target after going public, surpassing Black Hops’ four day effort in 2019.

Batch’s raise was opened to private investors on March 29 before unrolling to the general public on April 1. It had already reached over $1 million by that time. On April 2 it reached its target a month early thanks to 679 investors whose average investment was $2,200 – almost $1,000 more than the average investment for a crowd fund on the online investment platform Equitise. The largest single investment was $125,000.

Speaking to Beer & Brewer last week, Batch co-founders Chris Sidwa and Andrew Fineran (pictured above) said the funds would be used to expand their sales reach and firm up current contract brewing relationships as their two breweries – in Marrickville and Petersham – were not keeping up with demand. They were also hoping to open as many as three new taprooms in new areas of NSW. If these aspirations proved successful they plan to run a second equity campaign to fund the building of new production facilities in regional NSW and interstate.

Despite COVID-19 lockdowns, Batch generated $3.3 million in revenue over the 2020 financial year, selling over 345,000 litres of beer. In addition to their two venues, Batch’s beer is sold online through their own e-commerce store, in a mix of independent and chain bottleshops, including Woolworths and Coles-owned stores, and is on tap in 100 venues.

Andrew said yesterday: ‘‘We are blown away by the engagement with the offer. Community is at the heart of everything we do here at Batch Brewing, so when it came to raising capital to scale, we knew we wanted to invite that community to join us as co-owners.’’

In a statement Equitise said Batch closed it’s equity crowd fund two days after Scottish brewery BrewDog closed their Australian raise. The statement read: “Launching early December, the (BrewDog Australia) offer was extended in order to reach the $10 million target. The company ended up raising $822,000 after some scrutiny about it’s valuation and offering of Class B shares”.

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