‘Funding III’ will launch on Friday 26 January via Crowdcube, with an initial target of £400,000 being set by the craft brewery. An upper fund limit of £800,000 has also been set if demand exceeds expectations.
The funds raised will be used to grow Hop Stuff’s expanding taproom business, from three to eight sites by the end of 2019.
Hop Stuff has relied heavily on crowdfunding since its foundation in 2013, and has used the platform to help grow the business on two previous occasions. It now employs more than 50 people, owns three bars and a 65hl brewhouse.
Approachable craft beer environments
Managing director James Yeomans said: “This fundraising is a huge step for the brewery. Originally we planned four taprooms, however, the response to our new opening in Deptford, as well as the news we’re opening a site in Kent, created such a buzz that we were keen to expand on it.
“Each taproom allows us to help people experience Hop Stuff Brewery in the environment we want; a friendly, social and welcoming team educating people in the crazy world of craft beer.”
The brewery is forecast to make £4.6m in revenue in 2018, and this is predicted to rise to £11.1m by 2019.
Hop Stuff’s taprooms showcase a range of guest beers (typically at least 50%) from the weird and wonderful to the simple and approachable, and Yeomans believes this has been key in the brewery’s success.
“The driving force of this growth is in making craft beer more approachable to everyday people,” he said. “The goal for Hop Stuff and the taprooms is to help people new to craft beer enjoy their journey.
“Too often I speak to friends who feel alienated or nervous navigating beer menus or packaging. We want to make the complicated simple, the intimidating welcoming, and open the floodgates to delicious beer. We believe expanding our taproom business is a great way to do this.”
CAMRA welcomes taprooms
The news follows the announcement earlier this week that the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) is to broaden its approach to “recognise a wider range of drinks and drinking establishments”.
Yeomans said that embracing all types of beer was a “really positive statement”, and registered his pleasure at seeing taprooms recognised by the organisation for the first time.
“It’s fantastic to see the adoption of a wider variety of drinking venues,” he said. “Given how the market is moving, some pubs have struggled to keep up. Adopting taprooms and other venues points towards a more dynamic CAMRA for the future”.