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£100,000 from crowdfunding is no small beer

A CRAFT beer club has raised £100,000 from a crowdfunding campaign designed to grow its online community to 10,000 members this year.

Beer52, which offers members a mixed case of eight craft beers for £24 a month, launched the bid for investment through the Angels Den crowdfunding platform in December.

The Edinburgh-based start-up raised £100,000 from 23 investors in 38 days, with one committing £30,000 - enough to secure free beer for life.

Shares were issued at £83 each, with the £100,000 invested representing 10% of the total equity. However, individuals are also able to invest more modest sums in Beer52 for rewards instead of shares, such as a £10 investment in return for a free craft beer taster box.

An investment of £50,000 entitles an investor free beer for life, as well as the chance to brew beer with their name on it.

So far a combination of "sophisticated investors" and beer fans have invested.

Beer52 founder and head of beer tasting James Brown said: "The investment will allow us to launch a really engaging website and allow us to acquire 10,000 members, which will allow us to help the best independent craft breweries reach thousands of new drinkers in the UK."

Since launching three months ago Beer52 has amassed 2500 subscribers, which is said to make it the UK's fastest-growing craft beer club. Beers from producers such as Scotland's Innis & Gunn, Orkney Brewery, and BrewDog, London's Camden Town Brewery and Manchester's TicketyBrew are among those available to members.

A spokeswoman said Beer52 offers a route to market for many of the 1200 microbrewers in the UK which can't compete with the major brands. She said: "The idea behind Beer52 is that they help breweries reach new drinkers, with this sampling campaign going out to thousands of craft beer lovers around the UK."

Bill Morrow, chief executive of Angels Den, said: "They had obviously nailed the basic proposition which made it look easy to ace the video, then they blitzed their message out to their supporters. On top of that, they attracted 15 accredited angels at our 'speedfunding' event which supplemented the crowd and, perhaps more importantly than raising the funds, now allows them access to the contacts, experience and advice of these experienced business people."

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