Law in a Pint Glass: Industry insights from Bristol’s food and drink producers
We had a wonderful evening tasting locally brewed beer and their perfect food pairings at the cosy yet elegant specialist bar, The Strawberry Thief. A one-off event hosted by Gregg Latchams Solicitor’s Food and Drink Sector specialists gave us insight into these successful small businesses.
Lovely couple Kelly and Bob make up this great beer brewing brand. Brand is the key word here. They have created a flavour wheel that features on every bottle’s label – an infographic that tells you exactly what the beer tastes like. Simple but incredibly effective; admired by all of the other brewers.
What are your thoughts on ‘craft’ beers?
The word ‘craft’ has just become trendy and doesn’t necessarily mean the beer is crafted or good. It should come as standard that your product is a great quality. It’s doing more than just great beer – it’s about branding it well, being active on social media, getting the name out there.
What is it like to work in the brewing industry?
Very supportive. As you can see, all the brewers here are sat together, basically with their competition! There’s a real community within the industry and we’ve been offered a lot of help and advice from other small brewing businesses.
Louise and Ryan and the whole brewing team are full of fascination, dedication and passion for what they do. That’s how they have come up with some unusual and distinctive brews such as Mochachocolata Ya Ya! It is their innovative vision that keeps them producing unique brews that keeps their customers loyal.
Master brewer Henry described their brewing style as rock + roll but without the attitude. Basically heavy, dark beers with lots of hops and a self-assured confidence.
Getting products in front of people, it really helps to have a few contacts in the industry. It was difficult choosing the branding too as this is the personality behind the team and ales; it really needed to suit us. The next challenge is keeping the business unique and independent, not following into the mainstream.
What is the need for good legal advice?
As a small company you will come across many pitfalls so it’s good to have trustworthy legal advice you can get as and when you need it. I like to have someone that specialises in small companies and that can cover varied sectors i.e., insurance, employment etc.
Alex has built his brand around great down to earth values of being humble and inclusive – treating people how he would like to be treated. This is a great ethos to have in building a trusted relationship with customers. They have done a brilliant job with their branding across all the social platforms and website using awesome illustration that’s really memorable.
James made the nibbles to accompany the beer and delighted us all with his creative culinary talents! Some of these delicious food pairings included butternut and broad bean falafel, homemade chicken sausage with cauliflower puree and a sweet treat of banana cake with a six-hour chocolate and pear sauce. He has made a name for himself with his gluten free, vegan and dairy free alternatives; tailoring to a gap in the market. He will be at the Strawberry Thief until the end of December, for all of his other events, #followthebear
Joseph Evans, In-house Lawyer, summed up the night:
‘Our evening in the company of local brewers and a prominent local chef was testament to how important food and drink are to the Bristol culture. Their passion for their product and process shone out in the stories behind how they developed the tastes being showcased.
To me that was the most important aspect of what we were trying to show from our event, the people behind the label and brands and how that will influence how the businesses will grow. There was a really strong reception from the audience tasting the food and drink pairings, with some probing questions and discussion. It indicates there is a desire for originality in products and that in order for these businesses to succeed they will have to experiment and push boundaries.
These are the sorts of companies Gregg Latchams works with, the innovators of the sector and those with a passion for what they do, which in the long run will probably decide if they flourish. The producers being showcased at our event we have no doubt will go on and flourish. A really worthwhile event.’