Bellfield Brewery, the Edinburgh-based maker of gluten-free beer, has kicked off a £500,000 funding drive to boost its expansion plans.
The firm, which launched in March last year to become the UK’s first dedicated gluten-free brewer, is being supported by accountant Henderson Loggie and legal adviser Harper Macleod as it targets a mixture of equity, grants and loan funding.
As well as developing new recipes, the investment will help the start-up – which has already secured deals with distributors including Bidvest, Craft Beer Clan Scotland, Inverarity Morton and Matthew Clark – make a move into canned beers.
Kieran Middleton, Bellfield’s head of business development, said the brewery was also planning to bolster its sales and management teams, initially recruiting account managers to service and develop its UK and international distribution network.
He added: “In the first year of trading we have established that there is considerable demand for our products, and have delivered on our ambition to produce beer that stands up to anything in the market.
“Having also secured distribution agreements with the leading food and drink distributors and wholesalers in the UK, we now need to capitalise on this opportunity by growing the sales and operational team and extending our range of beers.”
Middleton said that a number of investors who backed Bellfield’s £180,000 crowdfunding campaign in 2015 have already committed to support its fresh fundraising round.
The firm’s beers are stocked by about 200 bars, restaurants and independent bottle shops, mostly across the central belt of Scotland, although it is starting to make inroads into London and the south-east of England.
It said overseas customers have also showed “considerable interest” in its produce, with pallets of beer already being shipped to wholesalers in Singapore and Switzerland.