Chapel Down reveals beer organization Curious Drinks to be picked up by Luke Johnson’s Chance Funds Partners


hapel Down has discovered that serial trader and former Patisserie Valerie chairman Luke Johnson is to pick up its beer business. 

The Aquis-stated winemaker explained it will set its title-successful Ashford-dependent brewer Curious Drinks – which introduced in 2019 and saw 90% of its beer and cider bought in hospitality venues pre-pandemic – into administration, to be taken up by Johnson’s Risk Funds Associates (RCP) via a pre-pack which is set to guarantee all the brewer’s careers. 

The Kent-centered enterprise, which is backed by City veteran Michael Spencer and recognised for its glowing bottles, claimed the exit will lower its web financial debt from £7.2 million to £100,000. 

Chapel Down main government, Frazer Thompson, explained to the Common the go will allow his firm to concentrate on its lucrative wine organization – which saw volume gross sales improve by 38% in 2020 even with the pandemic as equally property-consuming and demand from customers for English wine greater.

Thompson stated Chapel Down have been “nimble” through the disaster, seeing e-commerce expand from 4% to 20% of its business enterprise because the pandemic broke out.

He said: “The desire and regard for English wines is growing exponentially… We’re hugely psyched about the prospective customers for English wines, so any income that we’re paying out that isn’t likely into that is a issue. Much as we adored that beer company, it is draining means from a business enterprise that is spectacularly profitable at the minute.”

Of the sale to RCP, he explained: “He [Luke] is familiar with his way all around this marketplace. I needed to make positive there was no unemployment, that an individual was likely to come in and spend who considered in this business… and Luke is that form of visionary entrepreneur who can give this organization the investment it needs.” 

RCP has beforehand invested in the sector in firm’s like Brighton-based The Laine Pub Organization and The Draft House.

Johnson said he thinks Curious Drinks can be “developed further”, incorporating: “We’re very fired up about its long run, even with the difficulties of the previous year. Brewing will usually be a cornerstone of British lifestyle, and the craft beer revolution has only strengthened that.  

“We are notably happy to be getting on all Curious workers, who bring with them a wealth of perception and understanding.”