Interview: Burleighs Gin planning global expansion through crowdfunding campaign

burleighs gin events

The gin market is more competitive than ever but Leicestershire’s Burleighs Gin is showing no signs of slowing down with their expansion. They have recently launched their first crowdfunding campaign in a bid to expand globally and we caught up with Commercial Director, Sam Watson, to find out more about it all and how you can get involved.

Over the last 5 years Burleighs has established itself as a key player in the competitive gin market, why is now the right time for you to launch a crowdfunding campaign?

The gin market is currently more competitive than ever and although we have enjoyed great success over the past five years, we have a desire to take the brand to new heights. With a foothold established in the UK market, we now plan to capitalise on our momentum by growing our team and production facilities. Investment is definitely a key component in our plans for global expansion and following the launch of our collaboration with Marilyn Monroe the timing feels perfect.

We all see how many great gins are hitting the shelves in shops and bars, but just how quickly is the market growing?

There is no doubt that gin is currently the talk of the town and has been now for some time. The question we are starting to repeatedly hear is “When is the gin bubble going to burst?” but there are no signs of the market slowing! Whilst sales of traditional London Dry Gin remain stronger than ever, flavoured & pink gin has emerged as the disruptive new player in the category, now valued at £165 million.

With new gins entering the market so regularly, staying ahead of the curve by building a strong brand portfolio is a top priority and the growth of flavoured gin led us to introduce our Marilyn Monroe pink gin to the collection.

burleighs Marilyn Monroe

What is it that you think sets Burleighs apart from competitors?

There is no denying that there is a vast number of high quality gins on the market and we understand that simply producing a high quality liquid isn’t enough to set you apart. Over the years we have developed the Burleighs brand by establishing industry first collaborations such as our partnerships with Leicester City, Leicester Tigers and more recently the Marilyn Monroe estate. We have also worked hard to curate unforgettable consumer events like the Burleighs Express & Picnic in the Gardens that leave a lasting impression on all those who attend.

You’ve said the the crowdfunding campaign is the help your drive for “global expansion”, where do you see that expansion taking you?

Burleighs is already available in a number of European countries including Spain & Germany. Further afield, you can find Burleighs in parts of Asia, including Thailand, on the back of our Leicester City partnership. With Brexit looming, we want to use investment to expand further in Asia and set up distribution partners in the States. Our Marilyn Monroe Pink Gin would be a real foot in the door to the US and Asia, because she is so globally recognised.

What are the benefits to people signing up to become shareholders?

The standout feature of crowdfunding is that it allows our customers to invest in Burleighs Gin on the same financial terms as experienced investors. The main aim of your investment is to grow the Burleighs business and in-turn your share value, so if or when we are acquired you may well enjoy a generous payout. There are a number of benefits to becoming a shareholder including tax relief, limited edition rewards and not forgetting bragging rights with your other gin friends.

burleighs gin

Burleighs is a home grown, Leicestershire product, is it important for the brand to always stay true to its local roots even when expanding?

Leicestershire will always be at the heart of our business. We are continuing to work in partnership with Leicester City & Leicester Tigers as well as servicing the local bars, pubs and restaurants across the county by working closely with the likes of Everards and Steamin’ Billy. We are also continuing to host exciting consumer events across Leicestershire, including our ‘Big Bang with Bureighs Gin’ event with the University of Leicester this November.  

Which is your favourite of the Burleighs range?

It’s always been our Distiller’s Cut! For me there is nothing quite like it on the market, a perfect balance of floral & citrus and incredibly smooth for a gin that is 47% abv! 

burleighs distillery

You’ve built some fantastic product partnerships, such as LCFC, Leicester Tigers and even Marilyn Monroe, but if you could pick one dream collaboration, what would it be?

As a life long Leicester City fan I still think it will take a lot to top our partnership. The Marilyn Monroe collaboration has also been a real ‘pinch yourself’ moment and in the future maybe we can partner with another iconic figure of the same calibre.

Sum up in under 10 words why our readers should invest?

To support local going global and share in the success.

Burleighs Gin are aiming to raise £250,000 and have already raised £90,000 with 20 days of the campaign remaining. The business is currently valued at 4.1million with 5.69% equity available. To find out more and to invest yourself, visit the Burleighs campaign page on Crowdcube,