Beer Cartel’s founders Geoff Huens and Richard Kelsey who raised $1.45 million back in July 2021.

Craft beer related businesses helped Australia’s crowd sourced funding (CSF) industry to a record year in 2021 where it achieved a 140 per cent increase in capital raised compared to the previous 12 months.

Across the CSF industry, where the Birchal, Equitise and OnMarket platforms are the major players, 89 successful CSF offers were completed last year with approximately $71 million raised from 37,000 investors.

The food and beverage industry received the highest proportion of that investment, with 21 successful campaigns raising a total of $16.64 million. Of these, craft beer affiliated businesses represented the majority of funds raised, with eight campaigns bringing in a total of $9.25 million. The bulk of that came from Spinifex Brewing ($2 million/Equitise), Batch Brewing ($1.5 million/Equitise), Beer Cartel ($1.45 million/Birchal), Triple-1-Three/Otherside Brewing ($1.1 million/Birchal) and Sobah ($1 million/Birchal). Co-Conspirators Brewing ($619,000/Birchal) and Rebellion Brewing/O’Brien’s ($701,000/Birchal) were other breweries to run successful campaigns last year while Newcastle Distilling raised $844,000 (Birchal) which they said would help them launch a new brewery – the Newcastle Brewing Co. In 2020 no craft beer related businesses successfully ran CSF campaigns.

In the wake of Black Hops raising $2.2 million late last month via an equity crowd fund with Birchal, where it became the largest raise of its type in Australian beer industry history, Matt Vitale, Birchal’s co-founder and managing director (pictured), told Beer & Brewer he expected craft beer to continue helping drive growth across the CSF industry.

“I can’t name any yet, but we are working with three additional craft beer businesses at the moment who are actively preparing for CSF offers slated to open over the next few months.

“As the year unfolds, we typically see a spike in activity in the lead up to 30 June, and again in November. Our pipeline has never been bigger this time of year (which is typically the quietest), so we’re confident 2022 will achieve considerable growth on 2021 performance.”

Matt said the crowd sourced funding regime had proved popular with the craft beer industry as it had made it easier to make a public offer of securities as well as advertise it with a national audience.

“Businesses that have an engaged audience of supporters and a strong consumer proposition are at a particular advantage. So it goes, craft beer and equity crowd funding are a perfect match.

“It’s timely in Australia, particularly in light of the recent sale of Stone & Wood which has resulted in a form of soul searching in the industry around what it means to be independent.

“Hopefully equity crowd funding, and the products and services that follow to support the industry and companies using it, will become a useful tool to enable more craft breweries to remain independent and encourage diversity and independence in the Australian beer industry.”

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