Craft Beer Rising began life back in 2013 with 75 breweries in one room at the Old Truman Brewery on London’s Brick Lane. Six years on CBR is now one of the UK’s largest trade and consumer beer festivals boasting an impressive line up of over 175 breweries, 4000+ trade guests and somewhere in the region of 8,000 consumers spread across the three days.
So it was only right that we took the opportunity to soft-launch BrewBroker, the online marketplace for brewing, packaging and logistics, directly to those it is intended for.
You can’t exhibit at one of the UK’s largest beer festivals and not serve any beer, so at the start of the year we undertook a challenge. We took one group of home brewers, brewing at collaborative brew space UBREW, and took them through the process of contracting out their beer, getting it bottled, labeled and kegged via our network of suppliers. The goal was to launch their brand and their beer at CBR in just six weeks.
This would help us to illustrate how one of our core buyer segments (a start-up) would use the BrewBroker platform to get their product to market. So Sour Fingers Brewing Co and their raspberry infused sour beer was born alongside BrewBroker on stand 165.
During the event we spoke to around 100 breweries, the vast majority had contract brewing services they sold or were looking to buy. Across the Thursday and Friday trade sessions Sam, our PM from technical partner ucreate.it, and myself were continually demoing the platform on our production environment to a range of different customers and current and future investors.
The demo, which featured 60 supplier profiles, was used to demonstrate how a buyer would be matched to various types of suppliers. We received a fantastic response from the dozens of customers we demoed this to. As hoped, we were given some really useful feedback that is now forming part of our final stages of development.
Over the course of the event, our early registration form on the site received 72 sign-ups and we personally took a number of registrations at the event, plus many follow-up meetings to arrange.
All of these sign-ups have been added into our existing beta group of 85 suppliers and 70+ buyers giving us a great starting position as well as an opportunity to tap into a wealth of knowledge.
We’re busy planning the next stages of development which will take us up to our launch in the spring. We will be sending out regular updates as we continue on our journey to make the beer industry more accessible, smarter and profitable.
So a fantastic result for BrewBroker, and we’re pleased to say Sour Fingers went down a storm and have managed to get their beer into a couple of pubs!
If you’re a brewery, pub, restaurant, retailer, packaging or labelling company, request free access to our growing online community here.