Big Drop Brewing Co has just turned three years old.
The original three from the early days of Big Drop have looked back over the last three years.
Rob – Founder & CEO
I first started mulling over the idea of a brewing company dedicated solely to alcohol-free beer in 2015. It took a while to put the pieces in place but the first beer was launched in November 2016. Broadly speaking, they said I was mad. Who wants to drink AF beer? Turns out, that lots of people want to drink AF beer. They were just disappointed, as was I in 2015, at the woeful lack of choice and quality in the sector.
Three years later you can buy Big Drop in supermarkets in the UK, Scandinavia, the Netherlands, Singapore, South Korea and Canada. Pub companies are finally starting to see that there is a benefit in providing AF beer on draft and we’re hitting more and more taps around the country. Our “Crafted” range is respected as some of the finest AF beer available. I’ve just come from the launch party for our first collaboration brew set of beers where we partnered with some of the UK’s finest craft breweries to push the limits of AF beer even further.
And this is all down to you, the drinker. So thank you. Thank you for helping me change perceptions, increase choice and push boundaries. But we’re not resting on our laurels. Keep your eyes open for more beer styles, more Big Drop on draft and more availability on the high street. And if you keep asking for it, then we’ll keep brewing it.
Less really is more.
James – Co-founder
Rob and I have been friends for longer than we can remember. We’ve been in bands, Rob performed my wedding ceremony, we lived together in our very-early 20s in a poorly built house and ate nothing but tuna and pasta.
When Rob approached me about a “new business idea”, it’s safe to say I was a little sceptical (in the past he’d mooted ideas of snail farms and taxidermy); but once he’d explained this idea to me, I was all in.
All great ideas are born out of necessity: we both enjoyed beer, but we both had businesses to run and growing families. There was considerably less room for sore heads, but still a desire to enjoy a quality craft beer.
We had to find a brewer, someone with not only the skills to make the beer, but also the bravery/insanity to take the challenge on. On the first meeting with Johnny, we knew he was the man for the challenge.
Rob: “We want to make a 0.5% beer”
Johnny: “No, you want to make a great beer that just so happens to be 0.5%”
Our first tasting evening was with a small group of people (including our good friends at Club Soda). Three versions of the stout were tested and the Big Drop journey had officially begun.
Three years down the line, I can’t believe how far Big Drop (and the lo/no sector as a whole) has come. You can find Big Drop in bars, restaurants, craft beer shops and supermarkets all over the world.
Competition is growing but we’re in no doubt that next year will be another year to celebrate how Big Drop has helped transform a sector and made the poor alc-free options a distant memory.
Johnny – Head of Production
When Big Drop started I was working as a brewing consultant and was progressing well. I was contacted by many people wanting to start up a brewery. And often, these people’s experience in the brewing industry was minimal, even if their intentions were good. So, when Rob approached me he was amongst many willing visionaries. But I wasn’t sure how far it would go.
However, at my first meeting with Rob and James it became plain to me that they had a clear vision and a plan for how to achieve it. The foundation we agreed upon was one of quality. Flavour being priority. We still take the time to develop our recipes with care and use all our brewing knowledge and skills to create them. We nurture the development of our beers and demand that they have to be the best available. This is the ethos established at that very first meeting and we stick to it still.
I don’t think I could ever have expected Big Drop to erupt as it has. Rob and I have travelled to Stockholm, Melbourne, Toronto and I’ve seen our beers in shops and bars around the world. Meanwhile, our production volumes rocket as more and more people discover us.
To be part of a team considered the leader in the field is something I am honoured to be a part of.
Having seen what we have achieved in such a short period, I look forward to the challenges ahead and to see where we are in a further three years time.