A world-renowned brewing company who are on a mission to bring back the bear are the latest company to be supported by the Enterprise M3 Funding Escalator. Hofmeister has successfully completed their latest funding round, and raised a total of £720,000, which included £200,000 from the Enterprise M3 Growth Fund.
Hofmeister has a rich and fascinating history within the alcoholic drinks sector. Initially launched in 1976 by Courage, the Hofmeister brand was best known during the 1980s and 1990s. Its famous “follow the bear” Hofmeister adverts featuring George the Bear were the final directorial works of Orson Wells and remain much loved to this day.
The beer remained popular until lower alcohol lagers fell out of fashion in the nineties. Luckily for beer lovers, this is now changing with a surge in taste for premium lagers. Relaunched in 2017 as a premium world lager, the new Hofmeister has been crafted to meet this growth in appetite for great quality lager. The relaunch of this historic beer is being expertly steered by two friends, Richard Longhurst and Spencer Chambers who bought the brand and have revamped the recipe for new-age beer drinkers. Now the beer is a genuine Helles lager brewed in Bavaria using the Reinheitsgebot or Purity Law, a traditional brewing method dating back to 1516. Beers brewed with this method only contain barley, hops, and mineral water. Both men held senior positions at Beams, the UK’s leading branded alcohol gifting company. Ocado, the 5-star Connaught Hotel and the Ritz are just two of Hofmeister’s big name collaborations and more exciting partnerships are in the pipeline for the coming year.
Richard Longhurst, CEO at The Hofmeister Brewing Company, commented, "The past few years have been utterly phenomenal at Hofmeister and we are thrilled that The FSE Group has joined us on our journey. From winning contracts for in-house lager deals at prestigious venues to being the first ever lager to receive five stars at the International Wine & Spirits Competition, our relaunch has achieved so much already. With this funding round we will be opening up new facilities in Surrey and also expanding our talented team, so that the 2020’s carry on the momentum we have already built into the company.”
Avent Bezuidenhoudt, Senior Fund Manager at The FSE Group which manages the Enterprise M3 Growth Fund on behalf of the Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership, adds, "We are delighted to add Hofmeister to our investment portfolio. The company’s high level of success in such a short space of time is incredibly encouraging and can be credited to the team’s expertise and love for their product. They went to great lengths to find the right brewing partner and found the award-winning, privately-owned family business Schweiger Brewery in Bavaria to produce Hofmeister. Choosing a brewery partnership of such calibre has resulted in a fantastic high-end and critically acclaimed product. We are excited to follow the journey of Hofmeister…by following the bear!”
The Enterprise M3 Growth Fund is part of the Enterprise M3 Funding Escalator, a £10million initiative funded by Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership. The escalator, which includes an expansion loan scheme, a trade finance loan scheme and an equity growth fund, provides eligible companies with loans and equity funding between £50,000 and £300,000 for activities that will deliver high-growth and employment opportunities across the EM3 area.