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CoConspirators and O’Brien launch crowd funds

Equity crowd funds continue to be a weapon of choice for some in the Australian craft beer industry with Victoria’s CoConspirators Brewing and O’Brien Beer the latest to take the path – both via the Birchal platform.

CoConspirators announced on June 11 they were taking expressions of interest from potential investors to help fund their Brunswick brewpub. Meanwhile, Rebellion Brewing’s gluten free brand O’Brien Beer have been inviting expressions of interest since June 8 to accelerate their growth. CoConspirators said the amount they are hoping to raise is undisclosed at this stage while O’Brien are looking for up to $1.5 million.

The CoConspirators and O’Brien campaigns quickly follow recent announcements that craft beer retailer Beer Cartel was seeking $1.5 million – also via Birchal – to power its next phase of growth and Sydney’s Batch Brewing’s record-breaking crowd fund back in April. These follow a series of crowd funds in the Australasian craft beer industry in recent years with the likes of Dainton, Behemoth Brewing, Eagle Brewing, Black Hops, Young Henrys and BrewDog Australia all looking to the general public for investment.

CoConspirators said their campaign will “raise the roof (literally)” on the 195-person capacity brewpub that’s planned for completion in Spring this year, with the funds used to complete its construction and insulate it both thermally and acoustically. Once operational they said their 12 hectolitre brewhouse will be producing 2,000 litres on-site every week after “nomadic brewing” since starting out in 2016. On their Birchal page, CoConspirators state their production and revenue is forecast to grow from 82,000 litres/$676,000 to date in 2020/21 to “over 180,000 litres/$3.3 million in 2021/22”.

“The team has a strong social and environmental conscience, so the brewpub is being built with sustainability in mind,” CoConspirators said in their announcement. “Investors will receive a range of benefits including equity, exclusive access to events, plus priority tasting of new, exclusive beers. Additionally, lucky investors can be immortalised with their likeness featuring on a beer can as one of the Co-Conspirators iconic characters.”

In O’Brien’s case, their Birchal page states the ultimate ambition of their crowd fund is “to be instantly recognised as the best tasting gluten-free beers in the world”.

To get there they plan to boost production and in turn grow their sales and distribution through both on and off-premise channels and via their ecommerce store. They also plan to ramp up their consumer engagement with “engaging advertising, social media, events and sponsorships”.

Outside of owning shares, O’Brien said in return for investment they are offering discounted beers, free merchandise, exclusive event invites and early access to new products.

Joe Procter, director and co-owner of the Rebellion Group (pictured above), said: “The next stage of Rebellion Brewing will be very exciting as we are seeking investment to further growth through key sales appointments, increased distribution, on-line marketing and development of new products. Gluten-free food and beverage is on trend and taking off everywhere – in supermarkets, cafes and pubs as people look for healthier options. So, it is no surprise that gluten-free is becoming an emerging part of the Australian beer landscape.

“We believe we have a winning formula and now is the time to start pushing the accelerator. And the exciting piece is that this is an opportunity for everyday beer lovers to own a piece of a brewery success story and reap the benefits of any future success.”

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