London's first tea pub exceeds £180,000 crowdfunding goal

By Sophie Witts contact

- Last updated on GMT

Brew will serve pots of tea instead of pints
Brew will serve pots of tea instead of pints
London start-up Brew, which plans to open the UK’s first tea pub, has surpassed its crowdfunding target by £49,000.

The group has raised £229,330, 127 per cent of its £180,000 target​, towards the opening of its first site.

Brew wants to take tea back to the high street, capturing the atmosphere of a pub while serving pots of tea, cakes and alcoholic tea cocktails such as the Earl Grey and Green Tea Martini instead of pints.

Founder Alex Holland told BigHospitality that he had been ‘quietly confident’ the funding drive would be a success.

He said: “[Brew] speaks to something in our culture that’s been lost, and we’re finding a new way to value it. If you don’t reinterpret traditions they just end up becoming irrelevant and new things take over – like coffee.

“What does it say about Britain, which is a nation defined by tea drinking, when we accept the worst possible quality as normal? Tea is so much more than a drink; it’s a part of how we define ourselves in this country that has got lost in this twee trap of doilies.”

Expansion

Brew plans to open its first site in South London this year and spend around 14-18 months perfecting the model before expanding.

The £49,000 of extra funding will be used to accelerate the launch of a second site, which Holland is hoping to open around Old Street ‘to prove that [Brew] can work in a different type of area’.

The group is then planning take on extra funding to expand across the capital and UK.

“We have a target of opening ten pubs within London in four years , then will be looking to open a further ten sites under franchise across the UK in sites such as Bristol, Edinburgh and Brighton,” said Holland.

“Everyone up and down this country should be able to take pride in tea - at least as much as people take in coffee – so to do that we have to open across the rest of the country and beyond. Ultimately I think this is something that would be very popular in the US and parts of Asia - this is just the beginning.”

Creative partner

Brew is now looking for a creative partner to help realise its vision.

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Holland said: “We’ve got a very innovative concept which, given how the Crowdcube’s gone, is definitely going to make an impact. We’ve had conversations with lots of designers but we want to find someone who really connects with the values it represents to work with us in a more dynamic way.

“We think this concept is so strong and it is going to have a good design – it’s just a case of finding the right people to get that. We want the design to reflect the uniqueness of the product.”

Related topics: Business, Restaurants, Pubs & Bars

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