Purveyors of craft beer have latched onto Gold Coast-based craft beer brand Black Hops since it launched in 2014.
And whilst they certainly make fantastic beer, the company's founders say they have attracted the public's attention and crowd funding support by becoming the 'least covert operation in brewing'.
From day one, the boys behind Black Hops, Dan Norris, Eddie Oldfield, and Michael McGovern, have documented every step of their journey.
It makes sense then that the trio have become the first company in Australia to fully subscribe their equity crowd funding raise, backed by passionate supporters of the company.
Black Hops' crowd-sourced funding ('CSF') was fully subscribed on Thursday night, reaching its maximum of $400,000 in just six days; blowing expectations out of the water.
"We are obviously thrilled to have fully subscribed the offer, but to do it within six days is just crazy," says co-founder Dan Norris.
It's been an exciting journey for the loveable trio. In 2013 the three had an idea for an eggnog stout. They came up with a witty name for it, designed a logo, and brought their supporters along for the ride.
In 2015, Black Hops were called on by Activision to brew the official beer for Call of Duty Black Ops III.
But it isn't Black Hops first time at the rodeo; the team launched their first brewery through a reward (non-investment based) crowdfunding platform called Pozzible.
With such a connection with their supporters, it made sense for Black Hops to team up with CSF platform Birchal to allow the public to buy into the cult-brewery this year.
"We have always been keen to do crowd funding," says Norris.
"It gets people behind the brand, it's transparent, and it is a good fit for our brand."
"I think our raise was so successful because we've made transparency and sharing a big part of our story from day one. We built our whole brand around the idea of sharing what we are doing, and we've brought a lot of people along with us. It's ingrained into our story."
Black Hops' equity crowdfunding campaign began privately last Friday 18 January to pre-registered investors and reached its maximum target of $150,000 in just eight hours the fastest of any CSF campaign launched in Australia to date.
Norris says Black Hops intends to build a second production facility and taproom with the $400,000, as well as implementing strategies to turn the company cash flow positive.
The co-founder also says the team is hoping to expand interstate with their distribution capacity.
"Right now, we're pretty much Queensland based and touching on Northern NSW and Sydney," says Norris.
"We want to get into the rest of Australia in Melbourne and South Australia, as well as more of a presence in Sydney."
Working with Birchal has been a very positive experience, according to Norris, who says they've assisted Black Hops with everything from advice on the pitch video, their marketing strategy, and social media.
However, Norris acknowledges that equity crowdfunding isn't for every business.
"You don't want to give up ownership of your company unless you have to, and then if you are wanting to do it you have to have the sort of brand that people would be excited about," says Norris.
"It's a very public thing and it's so new in Australia. It's a big risk which takes a lot of courage. It's not for everyone but we were quietly confident that we were going to be successful."
"We hope that now we're an example to other brewers out there, I hope we can encourage people to give this a go."
Business News Australia
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