North West craft lager brewery Manchester Union Brewery is launching a crowdfunding campaign to kickstart its transition from keg to can.

The craft lager business, which has been brewing its signature Manchester Union Lager for just over a year, is launching its crowdfunder, Together We CAN, on Crowdfunder on Tuesday, 19th May, at noon. It hopes to raise £80,000 to move its business into commercial retail in June 2020.

Born from a love of lager, the brewery combines traditional central European lager-brewing techniques with a distinctly modern local twist and Lake District Water to create its unique legacy beer. The result is a bold, silky mouthfeel, with a hint of caramel sweetness that quickly develops into a refreshingly dry and bitter finish.

After a successful first year of trade, supplying more than 30 bars and restaurants around Manchester with kegs of beer, the forced closure of all bars and restaurants as a result of the coronavirus pandemic put an end to the brewery’s existing trade overnight.

In order to continue trade, Manchester Union Brewery is turning to crowdfunding to raise the necessary funds to move its brewing venture away from kegs and into cans, to launch commercial retail in June.

Launching its crowdfunding campaign, the brewery hopes to raise £40,000 in its first round to cover the cost of bulk orders for the necessary production materials to kick-start its new venture into commercial cans. The business then hopes to raise an additional £40,000 to purchase its own canning machine.

The brewery is offering a range of rewards to those who pledge money to its crowdfunder, including the chance to receive a lifetime’s supply of lager. Supporters will also receive a lifetime 10% discount on the lager, alongside a range of additional benefits, from free beer to ‘thank you’ prints.

‘In the face of adversity, we’re really excited to be starting this new chapter of our business’

Brewery director, Jamie Scahill, said: “Being able to offer a lifetime’s supply of lager in exchange for investment is an unorthodox way to raise funds, but the investment will allow us to move Manchester Union Lager into cans. Ramping up our retail sales while pubs and bars are shut is going to make a big difference!

“The effects of Covid-19 have had a huge impact on our start-up business, forcing us to accelerate our plans to begin canning our lager in order to continue putting our unique Mancunian beer in the mouths of customers.

“It took just over three years to go from ideation to brewing our first lager. We recently celebrated our first birthday and, having reached full brewing capacity for the first time earlier this year, the UK lockdown announcement on 20th March unfortunately turned our world upside down, as it did so many other businesses. With all UK pubs and restaurants forced to shut we’ve been faced with a choice to either wait the lockdown out and hope the business survives, or take matters into our hands and fast-track our plans to can our lager.

“In the face of adversity we’re really excited to be starting this new chapter of our business. We are hugely grateful to all those who are able to contribute to our fundraising targets and help us continue to do what we love and get our unique taste of Manchester into the UK’s homes.”

The company crafts its signature lager at Manchester’s first and only dedicated craft lager brewery, in Ardwick. Fusing traditional central European lager brewing techniques with a modern local twist, and water from the Lake District, it is able to create a unique beer. It boasts a bold, silky mouthfeel with a touch of caramel sweetness, says the brewer, followed swiftly by a refreshingly dry and bitter finish from the central European hops.

The crowdfunder can be found at crowdfunder.co.uk/togetherweCAN

Manchester Union founders
Manchester Union Brewery founders Jamie Scahill, Ian Johnson, and Will Evans

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