The east London brewery, founded by Ed Mason and Greg Hobbs in 2013, is seeking to raise £750,000 by selling a 5% stake in the business. The funds will be used to improve and expand brewing facilities, while also renovating the brewery’s taproom, the Pembury Tavern.
The crowdfunding initiative will be run via Crowdcube and will last for 30 days or until the project is successfully funded. Investments from as little as £10 can be made, with no limit on the maximum pledge.
As well as a stake in the company, investors will be entitled to a series of rewards, depending on their level of outlay. Every investor will receive a Five Points membership card and a free pint in the Pembury Tavern on their birthday.
A £500 investment entitles shareholders to a 10% discount in the pub, online and in Five Points’ sister bars Mason & Co in Hackney Wick and Whitelock’s in Leeds, while a £1,000 investment will result in an invitation to go on the brewery’s annual hop-picking trip in Kent.
Moving production ‘in-house’
If the project is successfully funded, the brewery will increase its capacity in Hackney from 8,000hl to 25,000hl annually, install new external fermentation tanks, make improvements in the brewhouse to improve efficiency and hire at least 15 new members of staff.
The brewery will also bring all of its production back ‘in-house’, having produced around 4,000hl at Brouwerij De Brabandere in Belgium since reaching capacity in Hackney in late 2016.
The Five Points Brewing Company co-founder Ed Mason said that a desire to produce all of Five Points beer in London was a key factor in the decision to crowdfund.
“We’ve wanted to grow as big as we could using our own cashflow and our own resources but, five years in, we feel that the time is right to take the next step up,” he said. “We are ambitious for growth. We could have stood still in size and profited from the duty relief you receive when you are under 5,000hl, but we took the decision to keep growing a couple of years ago.
“We made a difficult but necessary decision to start brewing some beer with a family-owned brewery in Belgium. Nine months in to that relationship, we were growing by 40% year on year and we felt it couldn't go on.”
“At the time, we were no closer to finding a new site in London,” he continued. “We went back to the drawing board and looked at how we could increase the capacity and efficiency of the brewhouse with existing space constraints.
“It's hard to find a big enough site in London, and some people end up moving out altogether and keeping a little HQ in London. That's not what we are about; we want to stay in the centre of London, and we've come up with a solution that is going to enable us to stay here and treble capacity.
“We'll be installing new external tanks, introducing a larger brewhouse, buying a whirlpool and a centrifuge, and various other investments in quality and kit that will increase our yield from our tanks and reduce tank residency time.”
Pembury Tavern plans revealed
The crowdfunding scheme will also help to fund the renovation of the Pembury Tavern, a community-focused pub Five Points agreed a deal to acquire last month.
The brewery intends to run the venue as a taproom, while maintaining a focus on community and cask ale. It will also install a trial kit in the cellar to allow its brewers to experiment with new recipes and produce small-batch beers.
Speaking about the plans for the Pembury Tavern, Mason said: “We aren't going to change anything too drastically, but we are going to ‘Five Pointsify’ it. We want it to showcase our brand and it will have all our beers available, but we want to retain that sense of it being a proper boozer. One of the strengths of Five Points is that we are accessible and community focused, and we want to take those values through into the pub.
“There are also 12 handpulls here, which is a real bonus. Five Points is committed to cask at a time when other breweries are dropping it as a format. We'd really like to showcase great new-wave modern British breweries that are making cask beer, such as Redemption, ELB, Magic Rock and Northern Monk. We may also include Timothy Taylor Landlord, which we sell by the bucket load in Whitelock’s (Five Points’ sister bar in Leeds).”
“It's just a perfect fit, and both our brewery and the Pembury staff are really excited about it. We can't wait to get stuck in.”
Mason also suggested that the brewery could seek to open more venues in the capital in the near future, and reaffirmed Five Points’ commitment to staying in Hackney.
“We'd also love to open more bars around London. It’s a model that has worked well for other breweries and it is a big part of my experience,” he said. “If the right opportunities come along we'd love to open more taprooms, bars and pubs in London.
“In five years’ time, all being well, we would have a bigger facility still here in Hackney Downs, and it would be awesome to have a pub on Dalston High Street or a pub in Shoreditch.”
The crowdfunding scheme officially launches on 12 March to Five Points mailing list and followers, before going live to the general public later in the month. To sign up for the brewery’s mailing list, visit its website.