Nirvana, the UK’s first-ever dedicated no/low-alcohol brewery, has recently secured half a million pounds from a small group of private investors, taking its 2023 fund-raising total to just over £750,000.00.
Debt-free and enjoying its most successful year of trading, the brewery will use the money to fund the development of key markets, as well as NPD and marketing to support its growing number of stockists across the UK. With the no/low category in rude health, the brewery is confident of greater success.
Nirvana is also predicting further growth in the category courtesy of the strong and sustained trend of no/low ‘mixing’ – beer drinkers varying their rounds between full-strength and no/low beers.
On-trade distribution has already been boosted by Nirvana’s appointment of sales and marketing agency, Bright Drinks – which has just secured distribution for its range of beers with Inn Express. The agency was previously involved in the trade success of both Lucky Saint and Athletic Brewing Co. and is confirming deals with other leading wholesalers shortly.
Nirvana’s news comes shortly after the government’s announcement of a consultation on the no and low-alcohol ‘threshold ’ – which could result in a raising from 0.05% to 0.5%. Such a move would not only bring the UK into line with many countries, including Germany, Australia and the US, but would likely further boost the appeal of such drinks, given the likely increased ‘mouthfeel’.
Based in East London, Nirvana Brewery was founded in 2016 by Becky Kean, winner of a prestigious Management Today ’35 under 35’ award. Of the fundraise and new distribution, she said:
“We were ahead of the no/low curve when we started and now we’re riding the wave that’s come along. People aren’t just switching to nos/lows occasionally – or exclusively for Dry January – they’re genuinely embracing them. This fundraise and a new distribution partner with experience of top-tier alcohol-free brands is adding further impetus to nine months of impressive growth.”
Cheryl Gordon, Bright Drinks co-owner, said: “As Nirvana invests in growing beyond its London heartland, we’re thrilled to be part of the team. Working with them makes perfect strategic sense, given the alignment of the brand with market trends, but it was also an emotive decision based on our shared values and a deep admiration for how Becky has grown and established the brand.”