Better Beer eyes $20m capital raise

Better Beer is seeking to raise up to $20 million to achieve its target of producing 50 million litres of beer annually by 2028.

The zero-carb beer brand has hired investment bank Jarden to oversee the capital raising. The company is currently selling more than one million litres of beer a month online and through BWS and Dan Murphy’s.

There are already some pretty big names behind the brand, which was launched by Torquay Beverages Co’s Nick Cogger and The Inspired Unemployed comedians Matt Ford and Jack Steele in October 2021.

Ford and Steele each hold a 21% stake in the company, while Cogger owns just under 20% and Mighty Craft holds 37%.

Its products are brewed by the Casella Family Brands-owned Australian Beer Co brewery near Griffith.

“We’re extremely lucky that we have partnered with Australian Beer Co and John Casella,” Cogger told Business News Australia.

“He’s seen our brand go from nothing to one of Australia’s biggest export stories, so he and his team are fully supportive of us and happy to invest to help us grow.”

Mighty Craft chief executive Mark Haysman said in a statement to the ASX: “We’ve consistently highlighted the key attributes of Better Beer as a truly unique asset, capable of competing with the leading beer brands both domestically and in New Zealand.

“Already one of Australia’s fastest-growing beer brands in almost a decade, we’re optimistic around the outcome of this fundraising round, particularly as Better Beer continues to accelerate and scale, which we expect will be reflected in our future earnings profile.

“This capital raise will allow Better Beer to take on the big national beer brands and continue to establish itself as a company in its own right Ultimately, we believe this process can not only validate our initial investment into Better Beer but is certainly capable of a significant valuation uplift, especially as Better Beer will now be fully-funded to further accelerate growth. This, in-turn, would help validate our unique, asset-light business model at Mighty Craft.”

Cogger told the Australian Financial Review the company was on course to generate revenues of about $45 million in 2022-23 and produce 10 million litres of beer in the year ending June 30.

Taking on the big brands

Cogger believes the company’s products can win market share from Kirin-owned Lion and Asahi and is preparing to target more traditional beer drinkers with the launch of two new products, including a mid-strength lager.

It follows the brand’s success with the younger demographic in the alcoholic and non-alcoholic low-carb beer category.

“Given the lack of challenger brands to the major players in the beer category over the past 30 years, we believe there is an opening for us to create a 50+ million litre brand in the coming years,” Coggan told Food and Drink Business.

A launch into New Zealand in October had also been successful and Cogger is considering expanding into the United Kingdom if he can find the right partner.

“We’re going to double down in New Zealand where the early signs have been great,” Cogger said.

“We’re going to local manufacturing there with Heineken and we want to support our partner over there in terms of the marketing spend.”

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