The UK’s beer industry is booming. According to accountancy firm UHY Hacker Young, there are now over 2,000 breweries in the UK, 64% more than five years ago and the most since the 1930s. An ever-growing interest in craft beer has inspired hundreds of ambitious entrepreneurs to enter the market, brewing everything from gluten-free to fruit-infused beers.
This influx of new brewers has forced the industry’s largest players to experiment with different styles, in a bid to appeal to millennial drinkers and craft connoisseurs. Indeed, the success of some craft brewers has already seen them being acquired by the big guns of the beer world, handing their founders a healthy payday while taking their beers to the mass market.
The distillery boom
Brewing isn’t the only sector enjoying a growth spurt, however. Figures from HMRC show that the number of distilleries in the UK has doubled in the past five years, with 49 new distilleries opening in 2017 alone. Artisan producers have been taking advantage of the “ginaissance” that’s taken hold of Britain since 2017 and which saw a record-breaking number of bottles of gin sold last year.
The emergence of English and Welsh Whiskeys in recent years, and a renewed interest in traditional Scotch, has also seen new craft distilleries catering to the tastes of discerning whiskey drinkers at home and abroad. And, with the chancellor Philip Hammond freezing spirits duty in his autumn budget, the growth of the spirits sector only looks set to continue.
Funding a brewery business
Barriers to entry are relatively low for budding brewers, thanks in large part to a tax break introduced by the government in 2002, which allows microbrewers producing less than 5,000 hectolitres to pay 50% less beer duty than bigger companies. Most small-scale brewers don’t even have to worry about buying premises for their brewing activity, with many starting out in their shed or garage.
However, once a brewer decides to turn their hobby into a serious business, they’ll have to consider how to fund its growth. As well as purchasing or leasing an appropriate brewing site, brewers also need to finance the ongoing cost of labour, transport and raw materials, as well as one-off costs such as machinery upgrades, brewery expansion and marketing campaigns.
Unless a brewer has a large amount of personal capital to invest in their business, they may need to seek assistance from an external provider. Debt finance is the best option for those wishing to retain full control of their company, with numerous lenders offering business loans on flexible terms of up to five years. However, many banks won’t consider a small business for funding unless it’s been trading for two years or more, meaning brewers may wish to approach one of the newer “alternative” lenders that have sprung up in recent years.
Brewery loans from Fleximize
A number of breweries and distilleries have borrowed from Fleximize, using the funding to purchase additional stock and pay suppliers while awaiting payment from customers. We can typically approve and fund a business in as little as 48 hours and will happily consider any company that’s been trading for at least six months. Here are the key features of our funding:
- Business loans of £5,000 - £500,000
- Flexible repayments terms of 1 – 48 months
- No hidden fees or early repayment penalties
- Approval and deposit in as little as 48 hours
- Repayment holidays and top-ups as standard
- Exclusive discounts on industry-leading business services
- Interest charged on a reducing balance, not the total loan amount
Fleximize doesn’t apply the strict criteria of banks and will always look for a way to say “yes” to every business. While we do take a company’s credit history into account, it’s only one of the factors that we consider. So, if your company can demonstrate strong financial growth, we may consider it for funding, even if it has a less than perfect credit history.
Ready to apply?
It couldn’t be easier to apply for a business loan with Fleximize – simply click the button below and complete our short application form. If you pass our initial checks (fingers crossed!), one of our relationship managers will be in touch to guide you through the rest of the process. For more information on how we can help your brewery, feel free to give us a call on 020 7100 0110.