Manchester’s only dedicated craft lager brewery is launching a crowdfunding campaign to kickstart its transition from keg to can.
After a successful first year of trade supplying over 30 bars and restaurants around Manchester with kegs of its unique beer, the forced closure of all bars and restaurants as a result of the coronavirus pandemic put an end to Manchester Union Brewery’s existing trade overnight.
In order to continue trading, Manchetser Union want to move the business, which is based at Manchester’s first and only dedicated craft lager brewery in Ardwick, away from kegs and into cans – and it’s turning to crowdfunding to raise the necessary funds.
“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,” said Manchester Union Brewery director Jamie Scahill.
“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 20 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.
The brewery hopes to raise £40,000 in its first round of crowdfunding to cover the cost of bulk orders for the production materials it needs to kickstart its new venture into commercial cans. It then hopes to raise an additional £40,000 to purchase its own canning machine.
A range of rewards is on offer to anyone who pledges money to its crowdfunder campaign, including a lifetime 10% discount on its unique lager and a range of additional benefits from free beer and ‘Thank You’ prints to a lifetime’s supply of lager.
The top reward for paying £7500 to the campaign is Lager for Life – one case of Manchester Union Lager delivered to your home every month for the rest of your life (limited to 30 years), plus a Manchester Union ‘Lager For Life’ T-shirt, invitation to the can launch party with free lager, limited edition personalised A3 ‘Thank you’ print, and your place on the Manchester Union Lager taproom wall of the fame.
“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 our lager into cans. Ramping up our retail sales while pubs and bars are shut is going to make a big difference.
“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.”
Together we CAN launches on Tuesday 19th May at midday.