Greater Good Fresh Brewing brew fresh sustainable and tastes beer at home
Please introduce yourself and your startup Greater Good to our readers!
We’re Alex and Ralph and we founded the Greater Good Fresh Brewing Co. We met at university in Manchester and have been in business together since. The Greater Good Fresh Brewing Co is set to change the way people drink at home. As the pioneers of Fresh Beer delivering something to people in their home that they haven’t previously had access to. All brewers will agree fresh beer is best, but they haven’t been able to bring this to their customers. Our unique patent pending technology will allow all sorts of brands to deliver beer in a way that you can finally have Fresh Beer at home. We do this through the Pinter which has taken us years to develop.
How did you get the idea of Greater Good?
The business has evolved over the last seven years to really hone in on the needs and wants of consumers. The catalyst for the business was when Alex did some home brewing and the beer turned out to be pretty good. That part of the story is quite cliché to hundreds of craft breweries, but we took a different path – we had bigger ambitions and we wanted to change the way people can make beer. The next seven years would be a rollercoaster journey to bring us to where we are today.
Why did you decide to start with Greater Good?
We decided to start up Greater Good because we felt there was a need to create a new category of drinks, showing the world that high quality beers can be seamlessly made at home.
What is the vision behind Greater Good?
To create a product that allows people to access brewery fresh beer that’s affordable, sustainable and tastes great- all from the comfort of their own home.
How difficult was the start and which challenges you had to overcome?
The technology required to make the quality consistent and the process simple turned out to be a lot more work than we anticipated. We ended up spending years and millions of pounds of our own money (which we’d made in a previous venture) to get to where we are today. As with any business there was no guarantee we would succeed so we had to really back ourselves even when entire development projects went wrong. There was one period where the management team didn’t get paid for 6 months – I don’t mind dealing with that myself but I felt very guilty about burdening the rest of the team with that – unfortunately we didn’t have a choice at the time. Now we’ve overcome these early speedbumps and its helped shape us into the company that we’ve become today.
Who is your target audience?
Like a lot of consumer tech products, It’s quite broad. Take the iPhone for example, my mum has an iPhone but so does my coolest nephew – The Pinter is a product for lots of different people. The common denominator is you need to like drinking beer at home. We’ve found from our consumer trials and market testing that this tends to resonate most with men between 25-55.
What is the USP of your startup?
Giving people Fresh Beer. This has 4 key benefits:
Quality – Brewery Fresh Beer at home. This is the only way people will be able to access that.
Environmental – It’s the only way you can drink beer at home not from a single use container. We transport a fraction of the volume that full beers do which means we use 70% less packaging and have a carbon footprint of less than half of off the shelf beers.
Flexibility – While you’re at work, open our app, click a button and within 24 hours, everything you need for your next 10 pints of beer is delivered through your letter box. Further to that, The Pinter offers great convenience in drinking how much you want when you want from your own fridge. Sometimes I might fancy a small glass, sometimes a schooner, sometimes a Pint. The Pinter is the answer to your prayers whatever your mood.
Accessibility – 90% of the UK isn’t drinking craft beer and that’s because it’s too expensive. Because of all the savings The Pinter offers – including cheaper logistics, better brewing process and the fact that there is no duty on the product at the point of sale, we can offer craft beer at prices usually reserved for the value end of the market. If I live in Derbyshire, I can have beers from all sorts of London, Welsh, Yorkshire breweries that I otherwise wouldn’t have been able to access (without paying something like £6 a pint!).
Can you describe your typical workday ?
I have three children under four and so they are definitely the focus for me. I’m a big believer that life is too short so I try and cram a lot in to the day. I get up about 4:30 and do about an hour of exercise and hour of work before 7am – depending on my wife’s work shifts either me or her will get our kids ready and take them to school or nursery. I then head to the office but it’s about a 1.5-hour journey, so I make sure that I get lots done on the commute. It varies hugely but if I’m in the office I stay there from about 9-430 and try and cram in any face to face time I need. It’s really important to me that I get back for the kids that day.
I have about two hours with the kids before bed and then do about another hour of work after that. However, every day varies – one day I can be with investors till 1 in the morning and the next in the office just like usual. For example, with our market trials we would go and see Tesco’s all over the UK and I’d leave at 5am and get home at 2am to make sure we got as many trials done in a day as possible – but that’s not a standard day. I don’t really differentiate between work and leisure because if I had to pick a hobby – it would be my job!
So, my workdays are also pretty varied, but I am predominantly based at the warehouse in Walthamstow. Due to the fact we have a number of suppliers in China, and the time difference is 7 hours, I usually wake up with a full inbox, so try and make sure I get back to them as soon as possible so that I can maximise the crossover of the working day with our suppliers. We do have a number of really important UK suppliers too, so probably on average once a week I am driving out to their factories, to do trials or check on production. My main role is product development, so most days I am working with our two product designers to help design the product – which is extremely complicated!
Now that we have the majority of the components that we designed in our hands, most of the day is spent testing and trialling them and working out solutions for problems. I am also heavily involved in the design and set up of the production line, so making sure we have the right equipment in place. I also like to make sure we keep the work/social balance alive so try and explore some new pubs and bars with the team in the local area or do some kind of social activity every few weeks!
Where do you see yourself and your startup Greater Good in five years?
We really think we’re going to make some big changes to the industry. Think about how huge companies like Brewdog and Camden Hells have been – and ultimately, they are just a brand; Brewdog even publicise their recipes! We’ve got patent pending technology that can properly change something forever. We need to stay focused and deliver and I think the sky will be the limit.
What 3 tips would you give to founders?
People – There’s a view that the right team can chop and change a product or service to make a business work. With that in mind I’d probably make the point that getting the right people in place for the journey is the number 1 priority.
Love what you do! – Life is more important than business so make sure that you love what you do – that’s the most important thing and if you get it right everything else will come.
Believe in what you do – I think founders probably underestimate the challenge but power through and make it happen anyway. It’s tough to keep people engaged on a long journey so making sure you really believe in what you do becomes the only thing that will get you over the line.
And a fourth tip for good luck – I don’t believe in the fail fast philosophy; failing fast wouldn’t have got a man on the moon… I think being determined and resilient takes you away from being a business playing the lottery and into something where you have a genuine vision for change that you’re committed to.
More information you will find here
Thank you Alex and Ralph for the Interview
Statements of the author and the interviewee do not necessarily represent the editors and the publisher opinion again.