Reefton Distilling Co. Investment offer preview

Crafters of untamed spirits.

Reefton Distilling Co. is based on the West Coast of the South Island, and is the producer of the Little Biddy Gin range, Wild Rain Vodka and a variety of Reefton Distilling Co. fruit liqueurs.

Their focus is on becoming the No. 1 New Zealand craft gin in the $80+ category. Shortly after their launch in October 2018 all of their premium and ultra-premium products had secured Silver and/or Bronze medals at the prestigious San Francisco World Spirits Competition (over 3,000 entrants globally), and the inaugural New Zealand Spirit Awards.The brand story and company DNA has been built around the unique geographical location of their distillery and the purity of their rainwater and native botanicals.

Investment Highlights

  • Little Biddy Gin has quickly become the fastest growing premium gin in the country.
  • Aelia (Duty Free) launched the full range of products in their Auckland, Christchurch & Queenstown airport stores on 1 October 2019 with sales thus far exceeding expectations and is to date on par with their top selling NZ gin.
  • F20 sales are on track to deliver over $1.5m revenue and 60% gross margin.
  • The gin market in NZ is growing quickly - domestic sales have increased by 31% over the last year with consumers demanding a higher quality, artisanal product.

The Team

  • Patsy Bass - Managing Director and Founder. Background in consultancy to large NZ organisations.
  • Jo Bransgrove - Board Chair. Jo is a Management Consultant and company director
  • Nick Secker - Distiller. Nick manages production and new product development
  • Guy Liu-Pask - Strategic Brand Partner / Double Lux/Investor. Over 25 years experience in Brand Development and Communication Design

The Opportunity

Global gin brands have reached saturation in New Zealand and are now being eroded by local craft brands. Anecdotally 2 in 10 gin sales in New Zealand are now local craft gins, meaning the Global brands have lost 20% of their market share. They will be watching the New Zealand craft distilleries very closely.

In New Zealand the growth in gin, particularly craft gin sales have been strong — up over 30% in the last year. There has been a growing demand for artisanal and boutique products — consumers are craving high quality unique style gin that incorporates locally sourced botanicals and natural ingredients.

The target market for Reefton Distilling Co. is the affluent baby boomer generation and their adult children of drinking age. They are prepared to pay for a quality experience and product and are increasingly seeking traceability and authenticity. Reefton is a heritage town with a history rich in innovation and optimism; from coal and gold mining to being the first town in the Southern Hemisphere to have a public supply of electricity. Reefton Distilling Co. have drawn from this in a contemporary context to add depth and substance to their brands. The provenance and story behind their unique water sources and botanicals play a big part in positioning their brands in a way that is unique.

Reefton Distilling Co. believes the Little Biddy brand is the fastest growing gin brand in the New Zealand market in terms of volume and sell out.

The gin is already in the Australian market (on premise) and discussions have commenced with premium distributors in several markets (Australia, UK, Ireland, USA, Canada).


Reefton Distilling Co. produce their products on-site, and have partnered with a brewery to produce their ‘wash’. They strip the wash and purify the spirit on site.

They are one of the few ‘grain to glass’ distilleries in New Zealand. While making their own neutral spirit is time consuming, it is proving popular, particularly with the top end of the market. They have introduced a sustainable third party neutral spirit to some products to meet demand.

Botanicals are foraged fresh from the rainforest on their doorstep immediately prior to distillation. They are rinsed and placed in the still (rather than distilled individually and blended), which they believe is a more authentic and artisan method. Freshwater springs are the source that is used to make their products and with a plan to install stainless rainwater collection tanks at the new premises, they will literally ‘bottle the West Coast rain’.

Growth Strategy

While many of Reefton Distilling Co.'s peers have been operating for up to 4-7 years, the company has made an early impression and are being sought out by both on-premise and off-premise accounts.

The distributor reports consistent double digit growth month on month, and anticipates they should achieve parity or exceed that of our benchmark peers in New Zealand by the end of this calendar year.

The business has quickly outgrown their space and now has new premises under contract. The new premise will include a brewhouse where they can cost effectively produce their own neutral spirit, in time also producing their own West Coast Smoked Distiller's Malt for their Moonlight Creek Whisky. Globally the demand for whisky continues to grow, with supply struggling to keep up. Many Scottish distilleries are now moving away from age statements (e.g. 25 year Single Malt) to help with supply.

However, the immediate focus is on cementing a place as the number one gin in New Zealand. To support this the focus will be on a number of marketing initiatives, including brand ambassadors and collaborations. Reefton Distilling Co. have both premium and ultra-premium products available, having the most exclusive New Zealand Gin (Little Biddy Gin — Black Label and our first Cask Aged limited release). They are also developing a new luxury category.

Next Steps

If you wish to receive more information about the upcoming capital raise for Reefton Distilling Co., please leave your details and an indicative investment amount below. We will be in touch with all interested investors shortly.

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About Snowball Effect

Snowball Effect is a New Zealand-based online investing marketplace, that enables New Zealand companies to offer shares to members of the public. Snowball Effect was founded in 2012 and launched in August 2014, after being one of the first to acquire an equity crowdfunding license from the New Zealand Financial Markets Authority (FMA). As of December 2019, over NZ$63 million has been raised on the platform.