Hiver Beers launches a crowdfunding campaign today, looking to sell 8% equity in the business, established in 2013 to focus on honey beers.
The company wants to accelerate its growth through investment in a second retail site, a new annual marketing campaign, including funding community-based beehives and planting days, and developing its sales and marketing team.
Founder Hannah Rhodes and her team have successfully built the business with turnover approaching £500,000, growing almost 100% in the last year, with the brand now stocked in more than 1,000 outlets across the UK.
Hiver’s range of beers uses honey in the fermentation process (rather than as a sweetener at the end), delivering a distinctively refreshing character, according to the brewer. The range comprises: Hiver The Honey Beer, a 4.5% ABV blonde beer; Hiver The Honey Ale, a 4.5% brown ale; and Hiver The Honey IPA (4.9%).
In 2016, Hiver launched Hiver, The Experience, a two-hour, hands-on beekeeping and beer-tasting session, currently hosted in London, where budding bee and beer lovers can get up close to the bees and find out more about their fascinating lives and the valuable ecological role they play. This is followed by a tutored beer and food matching session, where the full Hiver range can be sampled.
This year the company has already taken 2,500 bookings and is nearing capacity. The funds raised will, in part, contribute to securing a flagship retail and experience site to meet the growing demand.
Hannah said: “We’ve accomplished so much in such a short time. If you had asked me four years ago, I would never have imagined we would be stocked in over 1,000 sites across the UK, exporting to international buyers, and now looking to open a new retail site to meet the insatiable appetite from consumers for the beer and the experience!
“Since our launch we have demonstrated the success and potential of both the Hiver brand and our unique experience, and investing in the company now will give us the resource to maximise current sales opportunities. This will extend our reach and brand awareness, to make the most of growing distribution and really take Hiver to the next level.”
She added: “Crucially, as we grow the business in building a truly authentic premium honey beer brand, we are committed to supporting the British Beekeeping community, including funding planting days to support 100 community-based hives planned for Hiver stockists.”
Among Hiver’s famous fans is Tom Kerridge, chef patron of the critically acclaimed Hand & Flowers pub in Marlow. He was partly responsible for naming Hannah Ocado’s Britain’s Next Top Supplier back in 2014 and uses the beer in his recipe for beer braised ham and star anise.
To find out more about the crowdfunding campaign, visit Crowdcube