Chapel Down to crowdfund Curious Drinks expansion

22 October, 2015

The Kent-based Chapel Down Winery is seeking to raise at least £1 million in a round of crowdfunding for its Curious Drinks brewing subsidiary.

The company needs the capital to buy 1.7 acres of land for a new brewery close to the international railway station in Ashford, Kent.

Chapel Down is selling up to 19% of its stock in its beer and cider business, Curious Drinks through the Seedrs website. The offering could in principle raise as much as £3.65 million.

New shareholders will receive free brewery tours, limited edition beers and substantial discounts among other benefits.

Qualifying investors will also be eligible for 30% tax relief under the Enterprise Investment Scheme.

Chapel Down has appointed two new non-executive board members to Curious Drinks to strengthen and support the management team.

Stewart Gilliland joins as non-executive chairman. He is currently non-executive chairman of Booker Plc and a non-executive director of Mitchells and Butlers plc. He has previously held senior positions at Labatts Canada and Inbev UK.

Rachel Montague-Ebbs, a fruit supply chain director with her own fashion business, joins him as a non-executive director.

Sales at Chapel Down were up 33% to £3.25 million in the first half of 2015.

Beer and cider sales were likewise up 33% year on year to just under £1 million. Wine sales grew by 45% over the period to £2.3 million.

The crowdfunding will close on February 29, 2016.

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