Investors have back Heaps Normal to the tune of $8.5m, which CEO Andy Miller says will enable the company to chase 20 per cent of Australia’s non-alc market in 2025.
Miller says as a result of the Series A capital raise, Heaps Normal will aim to cement its position as the country’s number one dedicated non-alcoholic beer producer and that, in part, this will be achieved by building a dedicated production facility.
“When we launched, we thought there were probably a few people like us who wanted to cut back on the booze, but didn’t necessarily identify as sober. It turns out there’s a lot more people in that camp than we first thought. We’ve spent the last six months selling beer faster than we can make it,” said Miller.
“Australia is only now catching up to the rest of the world when it comes to great tasting non-alc beer, but we’re catching up pretty bloody quickly. Of course we’ve worked really hard to develop a great tasting beer that can stand up to a full-strength flavour, but we also feel super fortunate to have tapped into a culture shift away from the stigma traditionally associated with cutting back on the booze.”
Heaps Normal has been backed by some of Australia’s most dynamic start-up founders and investors including CEO and founder of Who Gives A Crap Simon Griffiths, Managing Partner of Athletic VC Matt de Boer, and Executive Director of Tripple Bec Milgrom.
Griffiths said: “This is a product and a brand that all beer drinkers can get behind, not just those who are abstaining. That kind of cultural relevance combined with social impact is what excites me the most. I can’t think of an example before now of a non-alc brand that has been cooler than an alcoholic brand.”
Milgrom, who has extensive experience in the craft beer industry across Australia and the USA, said Heaps Normal has the potential to positively impact Australia’s drinking culture at a large scale.
“When it comes to changing behaviours and mindsets, you have to do two things: create a viable alternative, and know your customer. What Andy and the team have done is build a brand around those two core principles to give beer drinkers a choice that doesn’t feel like a compromise but goes a long way in shifting social norms and expectations,” she said.
Miller says the biggest indicator of a behavioural shift is the uptake of Heaps Normal over other alcoholic beer options.
“Retailers with hundreds of beers in their range, like Beer Cartel, Kaddy and Blackhearts & Sparrows are selling more Heaps Normal than any other beer. We get stories that involve someone being able to order a Heaps Normal by name at a venue, and not even have to ask about non-alcoholic options,” he said.
Since launching in July 2020 Heaps Normal has grown its stockist list to more than 1500 Australian retailers and venues, where it outsells both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beer around the country.