Founders of lager venture reveal brand's growth

By Rod Addy

- Last updated on GMT

Richard Longhurst and Spencer Chambers, co-founders of Hofmeister Brewing Co, have revealed the secret behind securing funding and traction behind the brand.

Here, they discuss their business development strategy.

In terms of attracting investment, Longhurst told Food Manufacture​: "There's so much nostalgia with the brand that initially to talk to a few people to get some interest, almost to have a punt was fairly straightforward, so we ended up with some seed money, but then the work really did continue."

Chambers added: "We had a strong vision for exactly what we wanted to do with the brand: to create that authentic Bavarian Helles lager, tap into that space we see between the craft beer market and the mainstream world draft lager market.

'Big beer is unfashionable'

"Big beer is unfashionable at the moment and the craft beers are doing very high hop, challenging beer types. We wanted the style of the mainstream beer brands with the credentials of a craft, so we set about with that vision and really that was quickly adopted by some great private individuals who gave us our start with some funding."

The business partners explained the business, which was founded in 2015, was still in relative infancy. "We're not even two years into being out there selling, but we're enjoying some great success,"​ said Chambers.

In 200 bars

"We're currently in 200 bars. Of those, about 60 we'd be pouring in draft. We're 140% up year-on-year in our second year. Just starting this year we're actually 300% up in February compared with this time last year, so we're moving forward nicely. We're winning great business in a number of premium accounts ... we're in a number of five star hotels, some Michelin-starred restaurants and a whole host of pubs and bars, particularly in London and the South East."

Longhurst and Chambers bought the rights to Hofmeister lager from Heineken in 2015. Hofmeister was the fourth-biggest on-trade beer brand in the UK and the number one off-trade beer brand in the early 1990s, but was shelved when Heineken bought it.

Listen to this podcast and read our feature​ to discover more of the brand's journey since then.

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