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Big Drop Pumps Licence Model

Alcohol-free brewer, Big Drop, is launching a crowdfunding campaign on the Seedrs platform to support further draught listings and expand its licence brewing model internationally, with a £450k target giving the business a ‘pre-money valuation’ of £11.3m.


 

TLDR: Head on over to the Low No Drinker Podcast to hear or watch

my interview with co-founder Rob Fink




 

This follows a successful switch last year from contract brewing in the UK to brewing-under-licence when Big Drop entered a partnership with In Good Company, the owner of Fourpure and Magic Rock. The model means that both parties benefit: IGC brews and sells the beer; Big Drop utilises the brewery’s sales team and, with minimal expenses, can invest heavily in growth capital. 


a hand pouring a beer into a branded Big Drop Pint glass at  a bar tap

The new funds will be used to replicate the licence model in other regions, such as the USA, where Big Drop has been contract brewing since 2021 and where various breweries have expressed interest in taking a licence. Elsewhere, a new brewing partner in Singapore has been awarded a licence and will act as an export hub for South East Asia. Likewise, a licence has been awarded in Australia. 


Rob Fink, co-founder of Big Drop, commented:

“The licence model works. Contract brewing, or running a brewery, whilst also trying to invest significant marketing dollars on growth is no longer a viable business model, as it was pre-2022. By leveraging a brewing partner’s production and sales capacity, we don’t need to spend cash on working capital but instead can concentrate our investment on growing the brand, just as we have done in the UK.” 

In the UK, Big Drop’s focus on growth includes supporting draught listings as it signs-up more pub groups to join the likes of Mitchells & Butlers and Hall & Woodhouse.


Fink continues:

“Pouring a pint of AF beer from a bar-top font helps destigmatise any remaining notions that it is somehow an inferior option to an alcoholic beer. We have a plan to encourage trial in pubs through merchandise, competitions and that old favourite: free beer. And from a purely financial point of view, having Big Drop on draught will mean more sales – a whopping 95% of beer sales in pubs are on draught.”

Big Drop selection box featuring one each of four beers

According to research published earlier this month by KAM, 31% of customers have left a venue early and/or disappointed because of poor low & no options. And 40% will research low & no options ahead of time if they're visiting a pub, bar or restaurant and not drinking alcohol.*



Other plans in the pipeline include stretching the boundaries of its pioneering ‘Reduced Amylase’ brewing method to develop a 0.0% beer but still without the removal of alcohol - as well as expanding the flavour/style ranges. From Big Drop’s own dedicated R&D facilities it strives to accomplish this without compromising its own standards of consistency, stability and compliance that it feels is unmatched in alcohol-free craft beer. 


Since Launching in 2016 as the world’s first brewer dedicated to alcohol-free beer, Big Drop has won over 100 international beer awards – including 7 x ‘World’s Best’ titles at the World Beer Awards (a record for any UK brewer). It has also attracted significant investment from Mark Hunter, ex-Global CEO of Molson Coors; Stefan Orlowski, ex-European President at Heineken and Alastair Smith, ex-CEO of drinks analyst IWSR. 










 

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