Eighteen months after launch and on track to $45 million in revenue this financial year, the team behind the brand Better Beer are looking to raise $20 million to fuel further growth. Jarden has appointed to oversee the capital raising.
Better Beer was launched in 2021, a 40:60 joint venture between the social media stars Matt Ford and Jack Steele from the Inspired Unemployed, and seasoned beer brewer Nick Cogger from Torquay Beverage Co (TBC).
In July 2021, ASX listed beverage company Mighty Craft signed a heads of agreement with TBC to participate in a rights issue for TBC to fund the working capital given the scale of the launch, that also increased its equity stake from 50 per cent to 61 per cent.
When Ford and Steele approached Cogger, Cogger told Food & Drink Business developing the product was easy. “As one of the founders and with 20 years’ experience, in terms of getting the liquid right we found that quite easy. We then went to work on a marketing campaign and launch,” he said.
Cogger said this financial year, the company will produce more than 10 million litres, but he believes that could increase fivefold.
“Given the lack of challenger brands to the major players in the beer category over the past 30 years, we believe there is an opening for us to create a 50+ million litre brand in the coming years,” Coggan said.
“We are currently selling over 1 million litres per month and each month the baseline sales are increasing further. More pleasingly, recent sales saw volumes more than double in the latest December quarter compared with that achieved in September.
“People thought we were being overly ambitious entering a category where two companies control the majority of the market, however within an 18 month window we have been able to build an incredible foundation and platform that is continuing to scale and grow each day,” he says.
Cogger told FDB that weekly sales in February were on par with the non-public holiday weeks in December and January.
Two new products are currently in the pipeline, including a unique mid-strength lager that customers have been asking for.
The beer is made in Griffith, at the Australian Beer Co (ABC), which is owned by the Casella family. Casella Family Brands bought out Coca-Cola Europacific Partners’ share in ABC in January 2022.
Cogger said there was still a lot of potential to grow and expand Better Beer’s foothold in Australia.
“We plan to invest heavily in more traditional, above-the-line marketing such as TV, radio and outdoor to get more people enjoying Better Beer in bars, pubs and clubs,” he said.
The brand launched in New Zealand in October with a multi-year partnership with Heineken.
“The plan now is to double down in New Zealand by releasing Better Beer in a range of different formats and continuing to support our partner Heineken with some significant marketing spend to get the brand out there with the Kiwis.”
Cogger said they are looking at other international markets if they can find the right partners.