14 years ago we embarked on a journey to transform people’s opinions about English wine. It’s been a mission. But now English wine is no longer the butt of jokes. It’s served in some of the best restaurants in the world, it wins serious international accolades and, of course, sits alongside Grand Marques of Champagne at premium prices in major supermarkets. In building the Chapel Down wine business, we’ve not only won a hatful of awards, lots of friends and great customers, but also built a solid business with terrific people and an exciting future.
And we see a lot of parallels with lager. Yes lager. The world’s favourite beer now reduced to a sad fizzy yellow liquid - a testament to big brewer blandness, where market research wins over passion and corporate cardboard trumps taste. Where the only thing that changes seems to be the advertising. Where it’s big news if the logo font is upped a point.
As a thank you to everyone who decides to join us on this journey, we are happy to offer the following investor perks:
IF YOU INVEST £100:
◆ An annual guided tour of either the Curious Brewery or the Chapel Down Winery in Tenterden for two people
◆ A Curious metal pin badge
◆ Shareholder information pack in presentation wallet
IF YOU INVEST £500:
All the benefits of £100, plus:
◆ A Curious glass
◆ A bottle of limited edition Curiouser and Curiouser’ beer*
◆ An ongoing 25% discount for purchases of Curious beer and cider
IF YOU INVEST £1,000:
◆ An ongoing 25% discount for purchases of Curious beer and cider
◆ An ongoing 25% discount off dining and drinking at the Curious Brewery
◆ An ongoing 25% discount off Chapel Down wines
◆ A bottle of limited edition‘Curiouser and Curiouser’ beer*
◆ Three limited edition Spieglau beer glasses, comprising a specially designed Lager, IPA and Porter glass
◆ A private tour and personalised tasting at the Curious Brewery for four people each year
◆ A preferential gold discount card offering preferential privileges at the Curious Brewery
IF YOU INVEST £25,000:
All the benefits of £1,000, plus:
◆ Investor’s name etched onto a fermentation tank
◆ Exclusive invitation to the Curious Brewery with private tour of the brewery before it’s open to the public
◆ Six bottles of limited edition ‘Curiouser and Curiouser’ beer each year*
◆ Six special edition bottles of Curious Brew lager from the first production run at the Curious Brewery with personalised label and handsigned by the team
◆ A preferential platinum discount card offering further preferential privileges at the Curious Brewery
14 years of evangelism for Chapel Down has shown us there is a different way. And in the last few years there’s been something of a boom in great new beers.
• Where taste and passion come first.
• Where customers really do matter.
• Where we make beer that we know is better and about which we feel truly passionate.
• Where we can apply the passion we have for ingredients, use our thirst for knowledge, and apply the care and balance of our winemaker’s skill to make more appealing beer.
• Where it’s not just about cramming as many hops as possible into a pint, but creating a drink that has balance, depth, flavour and style and which does what we think a great beer should do first, middle and last. Refresh.
We’ve been making our beers for four years. And in that time we’ve won a lot of fans. Much like Chapel Down wine, we’ve built steadily and without any compromises to quality. And now we have reached the point where we need to build a brewery and then conquer the world. Because we believe Curious Brew is a beer that can truly conquer the world. We really think it’s that good. And we believe it’s a taste and style with global appeal, not just for British or craft beer palates. So exports are high on our agenda.
We’ve found a fantastic (“Epic” or “Awesome” to some) site for our brewery. We don’t want to hide on some industrial estate, we want people to take the pilgrimage to the brewery and see how we brew and how we work (and play).
So we’ve picked a site that’s as visible as we can make it whilst staying true to our Kentish roots. Just 38 minutes by high speed train from London’s St. Pancras. Just 1hr 52 mins by train from Paris. Just 20 minutes drive to the Channel ports and 10 minutes from the Kent countryside that surrounds it, this advanced brewery will not only transform the image and landscape of Ashford, but also make a bold and positive statement about modern brewing in Britain. We will be inviting the world to come and have a beer with us at the Curious Brewery.
Substantial accomplishments to date
Over the last two years Curious Drinks has grown 313%. Turnover in 2014 was up 43% at £1.75m with gross profit up 54% at £563k. Turnover in the first 6 months of 2015 was up 33% on 2014 at £974k.
We have opened, direct and with our wholesale partners like Matthew Clark, circa 300 on-trade accounts, gained National listings in Majestic and Waitrose, and already have the beer in some prestige accounts…
• Jamie Oliver
• Gordon Ramsay
• All Hilton hotels
• Selected Marriott, Starwood and Guoman Hotels,
including the Sheraton Park Lane, St Pancras
Renaissance Hotel, the Tower Hotel and Amba
at Charing Cross.
• The Ivy Market Grill
• Regents Park Open Air Theatre
• Pub Groups such as Spirit Pub Company,
Brunning & Price and Whiting & Hammond]
We want to recruit investors who will be brand ambassadors. However, we believe we have to offer a price that is justifiable and reasonable and likely to grow. After all, we want you to not only enjoy your investment but feel good about it. We believe the Curious Drinks business, with the assets it owns or has access to, and the potential that it has, is fairly valued at £16m and represents good value when compared with other companies in the craft beer sector who have a valuation. We think that is a sustainable and sensible valuation and one we can grow.
We are offering investors a chance
to get in at the ground floor…
… with Chapel Down and its team as founding partners…
… in an already proven beer operation...
… that’s growing fast…
… that has great customers…
… that has huge growth potential in the UK and also export markets…
… that can make more money through improving margins from production…
… that has successful proven leadership…
… that has a greenfeld site in an incredible location…
… and above all that has a terrifc award-winning brand with a truly diferentiated proposition that we believe has global potential.
We believe that the more we raise, the faster we’ll be able to grow. We’ll scale back according to how much we raise. However, Chapel Down is backing the plan and has a debtfree balance sheet and strong assets.
Use of proceeds
THE DOMESTIC MARKET IS HUGE…
The beer market in the UK is enormous, £16,941m in 2014, and forecast to continue to grow in value (Mintel best estimate £18,149m in 2019 – 4.33bn litres) compared to wine at £12.6bn and cider at £3bn (Mintel 2014). Lager accounts for almost ¾ of volume and value sales of beer (Mintel 2014). Beer and cider accounted for a third of value sales in pubs, bars and restaurants during 2012-2014 (WSTA 2015).
.…AND IT’S GROWING…
Craft beer grew 34% in the UK last year (CGA MAT P11 2014), with growth of 62% in the on-trade alone (CGA May 2014). 54% of adults now drink lager and 1 in 5 drank craft beer in the six months to September 2014 (Mintel 2014). “The UK market for premium lagers, beers and ciders is likely to grow steadily for the next five years, sector analysts have predicted.”
… DRIVEN BY THE KEY 25-34 AUDIENCE…
There is an 8% increase in 25-34 year olds by 2018, the key beer drinking target market (Mintel 2014).
The beer gender split is increasing - nearly 1 in 5 beer drinkers are women - 82% men and 18% women (Mintel 2014).
Characteristics of target market
… ALL OF WHOM ARE DEMANDING BETTER QUALITY, DISTINCTIVE BEER…
34% of beer drinkers are prepared to pay more for craft beers, rising to 43% among 25-34 year olds (Mintel 2014). According to the ONS, craft beer is seeing “an increase in both expenditure and the shelf space devoted to them”. The rise of craft beer and cider has sparked an 18% growth in off-trade volume sales of 33cl cans (Nielsen, MAT May 2015).
…AND LESS IS MORE…
The average pint of craft beer commands an additional 75-90p per pint (CGA 2014). Half of all beer drinkers say they expect craft beer to taste better than other beer, whether they’ve tried it or not (Mintel 2014).
… AND EVEN GOVERNMENT HAS BECOME EXCITED…
Craft beer now features in the CPI basket of goods (ONS 2015) The Small Brewers relief of June 2002 for smaller producers has helped improve margins to enable competition with bigger brands. Curious Drinks should benefit from this relief, if available, when the Curious Brewery becomes operational.
Our brand is the most important asset we have. We are fastidiously careful about every element of its production, who can sell it, how it is dispensed and packaged, how we communicate, and what we say. But above all else, we are all people who are passionate about our products. And having a great team who understand that we have a unique and distinctive proposition has always been a better way to build a great drinks business. Beer has become an increasingly international branded commodity. With so many thousands of beers to choose from however, brands with a distinctively different proposition and taste are the ones that we believe will win. We think we have that. It’s not a marketing proposition that is easily copied. And – unlike some craft beers – it’s not a beer that’s hard to like.
We believe in trying to create things that others can’t. Our products are different. We only create beer and cider where we can add unique value as winemakers.