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Chapel Down raises £1.7m to expand beer business

Chapel Down has raised £1.7 million to boost its Curious Drinks beer and cider business, smashing its target of £1m, following an equity crowdfunding campaign.

Chapel Down, Kent-based producer of English wine, beer and cider, launched the campaign in October, its second of the year, with the aim of raising £1 million to bolster its beer and cider business and build a new brewery. On closing the campaign with Seedrs this week, Chapel Down had raised £1,710,700 with 895 investors, exceeding its original £1m target by 71%.

“The success of our Curious Drinks crowdfunding campaign is further testament to the revolution taking place in the British beer business”, said Frazer Thompson, CEO of Curious Drinks. “Customers want great beer and we’re delighted that they love Curious as much as we do. We are pleased to welcome nearly 900 new shareholders who we know will become fantastic brand ambassadors.”

“Since launching Curious Drinks, we have been thrilled by its rapid success. But to have earned the support of 895 shareholders who believe in the brand and who want to support us on our journey with their hard earned cash is truly humbling.”

Funds raised will allow the Kent-based winemaker, which produces beer and cider through its Curious Drinks subsidiary, to build a new brewery in Ashford, which will include a restaurant and shop, and meet growing demand from the UK and international markets. Construction on its new brewery is expected to start in Summer 2016 and be fully operational by Spring 2017.

Last year the producer raised £2.9 million from investors in just 10 days, smashing its target of £1.6m, following its first crowdfunding campaign to support its core winemaking business. Funds raised were used to expand its vineyard, build a new winery and expand its hospitality facilities. Within six months the producer had boosted its total acreage by 80% to around 326 acres, and added a further 82 acres at a new leased site in Boxley on the North Downs.

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