Australian craft brewery Bridge Road Brewers are looking to raise $2.5 million via an equity crowd fund to fuel their planned expansion and to “retain (their) independence”.

The raise is currently in the expression of interest phase on the Birchal crowd funding platform before it goes live on June 15. If Bridge Road are successful in reaching their target, theirs will be the largest crowd fund ever conducted by an Australian craft brewery with that mantle currently sitting with Queensland’s Black Hops Brewing following their $2.2 million raise earlier this year.

In a statement, the 17-year-old Beechworth-based brewery said it’s seeking the funds to expand their production capacity, establish a 350-seat brewpub in East Brunswick and achieve sustainability goals via carbon capture technology and a solar array.

In a video that accompanies the launch of the EOI phase, co-founder Ben Kraus said in return investors will get to be a “part-owner of Bridge Road Brewers and depending on (the) level of investment, (they) will get benefits like great discounts on our beer, becoming a member of our beer club The Posse and heaps more”.

“We have identified exciting opportunities for the business to continue our growth trajectory, however they will require capital to execute on,” Ben said in the statement.

“When considering how to raise this capital, we reflected on our values. We are proudly independent and intensely passionate about what we do. We wanted our capital raise process to be a celebration of who we are collectively as a business and a brand. To us, the logical decision was a crowd sourced equity raise. 

“The value proposition to prospective investors is the chance to own a stake in a business they love and believe in. Their investment will enable us to retain our independence and we will work hard to deliver considerable value to them.”

Co-founder Maria Kraus added: “We saw an opportunity to invite the people who have been integral to our success – our staff, our community and our customers – to join us in this next exciting phase of growth.”

Bridge Road’s crowd fund follows the recent announcement Sydney brewery Akasha was also taking the same route via the Equitise platform for an as yet unannounced target amount. Akasha’s EOI statement said it was currently expanding its production capacity to 1.5 million litres to satisfy domestic demand and “support further growth in the rapidly developing South East Asian market”.

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