England’s premier whisky distillery, The Lakes Distillery is offering the public a chance to invest in the brand, with £1 million worth of shares available through Crowdcube, which allows a minimum investment of £10. The money raised will then be used to produce whisky for stock and to invest in new warehousing and distribution facilities.
Officially launched at the end of 2014, The Lakes Distillery is homed within the Lake District National Part, five miles north-west of Keswick, close to Bassenthwaite Lake. Operating from a disused Victorian dairy farm, the distillery has three spirits to its name, including gin, vodka and blended British whisky. The Lake Distillery’s first single malt whisky will be released next year, not constricted to the strict laws of the Scotch Whisky Association.
Since launching, The Lakes Distillery has already produced £30 million worth of whisky at retail (600,000 bottles) and won numerous prestigious awards, with their range of spirits available from high street outlets in the UK and in major export markets, including the Far East and Australia. The distillery has also become a Top Ten Lake District tourist attraction, receiving more than 100,000 visitors per year to their visitors centre and Bistro. Turnover for 2017 is estimated to reach at least £5 million.
Representing the final tranche of a £10 million EIS capital investment programme, having attracted significant interest from high net worth individuals, the £1 million worth of shares has been launched to create a cohort of shareholder customers, who will also become ambassadors for this British enterprise. In doing so, the Lakes Distillery hopes to follow a similar technique in the spirits sector to that successfully deployed by the craft beer sector, notably growing BrewDog into a $1 billion brand.
Paul Currie, The Lakes Distillery Managing Director and one of the three founders, said:
The Lakes Distillery is a unique British enterprise challenging established distillers with a range of new products crafted in the Lake District National Park by a business owned by a new cohort of entrepreneurs. We have tackled the launch of new spirits brands differently by becoming a tourist destination in our own right, a community based restaurant business, niche exporter, and successful e-retailer, while allowing our core product, the Lakes Single Malt, to mature for its market launch from 2018.
By introducing the world’s first blended whisky, The ONE, made from spirits from around the nations of Britain, together with the Lakes Gin and Vodka, we established demand for the new Lakes Single Malt years before it becomes available.
Nigel Mills, Co Founder and Chairman, added:
Our first investors, made up of high net worth individuals, continue to invest but we have decided to reach out to the public, which has been so supportive in our first few years. There is now a strong order book for our spirits, an established and repeatable trade at our distillery and the very real prospect for small investors of owning a piece of English whisky history. I am confident this next round of investment will prove popular and successful, bringing to the spirits sector the innovation that has led Brew Dog to challenge the orthodoxy of big brewers.”
Further information on The Lakes Distillery can be found here.