Staffordshire-based Freedom Brewery has secured £3.5m of new capital to drive continued nationwide expansion, MCA has learnt.
The investment was led by Oakfield Capital and existing shareholders, including managing director, Matthew Willson and chairman, Stefan Turnbull.
It comes as the brand, which already supplies over 2,000 on-trade outlets, has secured a number of new national listings, including Searcy’s. The group is also working with Kingfisher to create a craft beer range targeted at the Indian restaurant sector across the UK.
The new investment will see further development of sales and marketing activity, built around the ‘25th Hour’ campaign, which centres on what customers would do with an extra hour of the day. Driven by social media and nationwide events, the campaign has already seen ‘25th hour’ experiences given to on-trade partners.
Willson said: “We continue to make exciting choices for the brewery and the brand and we are constantly evolving to meet the increasing demand for our premium craft beers. We are seeing considerable growth in high quality on-trade outlets in both London and nationwide, as well as securing new on-trade listings such as Searcy’s. This further investment will enable our new senior sales and marketing team to enhance Freedom’s positioning in the premium craft beer market.”
Turnbull added: “This is an extremely exciting time for the brand and we are thrilled to be able to take Freedom Brewery to the next level. With the new investment from shareholders we want to continue to focus on our key brand quality, taste, alongside sustainability, vegan credentials and our Organic Lager. We hope that our series of new marketing initiatives will excite our existing audience and reach new customers to experience our premium craft beer.”
Damon Swarbrick, chief executive of Kingfisher Beer Europe, said of the partnership: “We are delighted to have teamed up with Freedom to ensure we are both at the forefront of developing the craft category within the 6,500 UK based Indian restaurants. We will work with celebrity chefs and award winning restaurants across the country to give consumers breadth and choice and allow Freedom brands to penetrate this dynamic sales channel.”
Freedom has already started growing its national sales team, and will be employing brand ambassadors to engage with on-trade customers.
Tim Giles, marketing manager at Freedom Brewery, said, “We believe that it is extremely important for both our staff members and the on-trade who are selling our product to be knowledgeable about our brand. Brand ambassadors will help to develop confidence, awareness and enthusiasm for the brand as well as ensure that our messaging is passed on to the people who drink our products allowing them to understand our ethos and key credentials such as heritage and sustainability.”