With a rich history in Sunderland, Vaux are at the forefront of the emerging craft beer scene
- Achieved 99.89% CAGR from 2019 to 2023*
- Opened our own 2000 sq. ft brewery and taproom
- Re-established an iconic Sunderland brewery brand
- Plan to open a new brewing facility & extending taproom space
We started Vaux in 2019 with the aim of breathing new life into an iconic North East brand and at the same time helping to kickstart the craft beer scene in Sunderland. Our passion for beer is matched by a desire to help regenerate our hometown.
It was clear within a matter of days of launching our social media channels that there was a huge interest in seeing this project succeed. BBC Radio and local press interviews followed to find out more about our plans - it was an exciting time but it was only the very beginning as we had a lot of work to do to show people what we could do.
Four years on, we have opened our own brewery and taproom, we've collaborated with some of the best breweries in the UK, we've poured at festivals in the UK and Europe, and we're now about to move to a bigger brewing facility to enable us to increase capacity by 400%. We have a solid foundation, a loyal customer base, a strong team and the distribution channels through which we plan to grow further over the next 2-3 years.
Substantial accomplishments to date
1. Opened our Monk Street brewery in December 2020 during Covid and opened an on-site taproom at the brewery in June 2021
2. Achieved a Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) since 2019 of 99.89%*.
3. Grown our community to over 23,000 people, have established ourselves on the UK independent brewery scene, have built a strong base of trade customers selling direct as well as via distributors and online channels such as Sellar.io and Eebria Trade.
4. Secured investment from Architect and TV presenter George Clarke in 2021
5. Collaborated with some of the best independent breweries in the UK including: Full Circle Brew Co, Howling Hops, Phantom Brewing Co, Top Rope Brewing, Old Chimneys among others.
6. Collaborate and support our local music scene and have worked with Pop Recs, Summer Streets Festival, Waves Music Festival, Boundaries Festival to name a few.
7. We are currently engaging in conversations to secure permanent lines with operators of 4 new venues due to open late 2023 and early 2024 in order to increase sales of core beers.
*Based on unaudited management accounts.
We've always believed that breweries need multiple revenue streams in order to thrive. At Vaux we have 4 routes to market:
This makes up the majority of our revenue. We sell kegs, cans and cask beer to a range of local & national venues. This route to market is where we forecast most of our growth will come from in the next 12-24 months both from direct relationships and via distributors.
We supply locally and nationally to a range of bottle shops and carefully selected retailers. We've also recently started working with Beer 52 to increase our off-trade sales whilst building brand awareness further afield.
Our online shop sales is a regular source of income and at key times of the year can become a significant income stream for us.
We opened our own taproom in 2021 and it has become a vital part of our business, providing income year-round due to being located a short walk from Sunderland's Stadium of Light.
Use of proceeds
Hitting our initial £50k target will allow us to complete the groundworks in our new 3,000 sq. ft. brewery unit and will ensure that we can purchase new fermentation tanks to increase capacity by 400% which is crucial to our growth. We hare now in the final stages of securing deals that require this capacity and this site, once fully commissioned, will be where we brew the vast majority of our beer. This level of investment will also enable us to purchase a dissolved oxygen meter and CO2 meter which will improve our beer quality and consistency.
Moving the brewing vessels to the new brewery will increase the maximum capacity in our existing taproom and thereby potentially increase revenue (particularly on matchdays) whilst also providing more flexibility to host bigger events including more live music in particular.
If we were to hit our stretch target of £75k this would enable us to improve the cooling at our new brewery to increase the speed at which we can ferment and package beer therefore further increasing production speed.
If we were to hit our final target of £100k we would be able to invest in new flooring at our new brewery site and make further improvements to our existing taproom to make it better suited to private events and live music.
Michael Thompson and Steven Smith (the Founders), have the following business interests alongside Vaux Brewery:
1. The Founders are joint owners of another company, Roker Shelter Ltd (12046608). This company has been established as a joint venture for a new hospitality business in Sunderland.
The company is not yet trading, but the development of the site is ongoing and is expected to open in mid-2024. The Founders have appointed a Project Manager to manage the development of the site, and a main contractor has commenced work in the last 2 weeks. Once operating, a full-time MD will be appointed in the new company to handle daily operations.
Through employing a Project Manager and full-time staff once the company is trading, the Founders will remain committed to Vaux Brewery on a full-time basis, and will not have a day-to-day role at Roker Shelter.
Once Roker Shelter is trading, the Company intend to establish a trading relationship between Roker Shelter and Vaux Brewery on an arms length basis.
2. Steven Smith is also the Founder and sole shareholder of Succession Law Limited (11629894). This company was established to facilitate legal consultancy work. There are a few remaining clients which account for approximately 5 hours of work a week.
The Company has the following outstanding debt:
1. £32,957 bounce back loan from Natwest at an interest rate of 2.5% per annum. The loan was entered into in May 2020, and is to be repaid by May 2030.
2. £20,000 hire purchase agreement from Hampshire Trust bank at an interest rate of 7.5% per annum. This loan was entered into in May 2022, and is to be repaid by June 2026.
The funds raised from this investment round will not be used to repay these loans.
Investors in this round are investing into and will become shareholders of Vaux Brewery Holdings Ltd (11806499). This is the holding company for the group. The Holding Co has one wholly owned subsidiary; Vaux Brewery Sunderland Ltd (08075408).
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