With the unrelenting rise of Gin and the more recent trend towards Aperitivo, Amaros and especially Vermouths are becoming more popular than ever.
And this is something that London-based spirits producer, Asterley Bros, which produce a small but increasingly popular range of British Vermouths and Amaros is banking on as they launch their crowdfunding drive.
The brand, founded in 2014 by brothers Rob and Jim Berry, make three bottled aperitif products – their Dispense Amaro which they released in 2017, and more recently, their Estate Vermouth and Britannica Fernet.
The Crowdcube campaign has been developed to raise money to develop new products, explore export opportunities, expand their production capacity with new equipment and to support sales and marketing.
The brand has an estimated value of £1 million (US$1.2m) and its products are currently available in the UK, Hong Kong and Singapore.
To push brand development and growth, Asterley Bros has hired English bartender Joe Schofield as their creative director.
In October, the brand will release its fourth product, Schofield’s Dry Vermouth. The expression is made using a base of wines and grape spirit, along with 28 botanicals.
Additionally, as part of the firm’s five-year plan, Asterley Bros aims to expand into 20 export markets including China, Spain and the US. It also predicts a total of 750,000 unit sales and £12m (US$14m) total sales revenues over that period.
“We have been overwhelmed by the level of interest in our handmade amaro, vermouth and fernet over the last few years,” said Rob Berry.
“The apéritif category is undergoing a renaissance, fuelled by the UK consumers’ desires for all things Negroni and Spritz, so this is [the] perfect time for us to expand our production and offering.”
Asterley Bros. cites the Global Vermouth Market 2018-2022 report which estimates the global vermouth market will exceed £14bn (US$17bn) by 2022.
Asterley Bros develop products with macro trends in mind: botanically rich, low in alcohol, vegan, and with transparent processes and ingredients, which are all unique factors in aperitif production. They believe their customers are passionate about craft spirits and their provenance. They love gin, drink negronis, eat out regularly and drink cocktails in great bars.
Developing new products
Schofield will help to create new products for Asterley Bros, including a new range of “approachable” vermouths. The firm will also move into the ready-to-drink category with a series of canned vermouth-based cocktails.
Schofield added: “I have been a great fan of the Asterley Bros brand since they launched their Dispense Amaro in 2017, and I have always enjoyed utilising their handcrafted liquids in cocktails and other mixed drinks.
“Breathing new life into the category, they are making exceptional products that are popular with bartenders and consumers alike.
“This is a particularly exciting time for the flourishing category and I’m delighted to join the team as creative director to be part of the next stage of the brand’s growth.”
They have been listed in some of the UK’s best bars, restaurants and are available through stores including The Connaught, Claridge’s, Nightjar, The Gibson, Fortnum’s and Harvey Nichols.
They were finalists in the BBC Food Programme’s Drinks Producer of The Year 2017 and have featured in The Observer, Metro, Stylist Magazine and Foodism.
The Crowdcube campaign will run for 30 days from 9 September to 8 October.