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How 672 brand ambassadors grew Hop Stuff by 134% each year

  • Episode 8 - 01hr 14mins
  • August 3, 2017

Andy Thorburn heads to The Taproom in Woolwich to join James Yeomans, founder of Hop Stuff brewery to discuss their story, how crowdfunding has led to their success and the importance of connecting with stakeholders.

For years the craft beer flag in South East London had been flown by just one brewery, and they’d planted that flag all over London. But beyond Meantime, the area was vastly underrepresented at the craft beer table, until, in 2013 James Yeomans successfully crowdfunded and launched Hop Stuff brewery in the redeveloped Royal Arsenal in Woolwich. James is yet another ex-city man turned brewer, who decided to leave the mundane world of spreadsheets because, well, I’ll let him tell you himself, along with discussing what made him jump ship in the city, we talk about how important crowdfunding has been for them, and how incredibly valuable each and every investor is. We also talk about the responsibility for brewers to be transparent and the importance of talking to each and every stakeholder, whether they be investors or just fans of the beers.

James has built an incredibly fast growing business on the back of these values, and consider their local community to be vital stakeholders of Hop Stuff, I had the chance of experiencing that community down at their Taproom, paired with a delicious pizza too. This is where I joined James, and I strongly recommend that you make the trip down there to experience it yourself.

Key Insights

  • Be transparent, and communicate to your stakeholders, you’ll build a stronger relationship with them and your brand, and have more advocates.
  • Look after your home patch before you start exporting all over the world, imagine going to Brooklyn and not seeing any brooklyn beers, it’s just not right.
  • Get the right people in, at the right time, and your business will be successful because you’re ready to be successful.

Show notes

[1:25] Beer Duty and Wholesalers

[6:25] “When you die, they’re not going to etch on your tombstone “Was f**ing good at Excel”

[7:40] Royal Arsenal

[09:58] Crowdcube

[11:00] Hop Stuff initial round

“It’s a harder product to get right, but it’s a simpler product to produce. I think you’ve got a lot more places to hide with keg, or with can and bottle than with cask”

[15:28] Beavertown Neck Oil

“Beer can sometimes go too far, it can sometimes be a little too arrogant.”

[23:30] We got Meantime’s brewer, Andrew Dickson

24:40 Meantime’s chaotic transition

26:00 Camden vs Meantime Acquisitions

30:48 Conversation with Pete Brown in Episode 1

33:48 “the fact that we called our self Hop Stuff, it’s a stupid name”

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James Yeomans

James Yeomans

James left a job in the city after realising a strong desire to make something real, to build a brewery that would be accessible to all beer drinkers. He successfully crowdfunded and set up Hop Stuff in 2013, and has created one of the fastest growing breweries in the UK.


About the Show

Stories, insights and lessons from the incredible people behind the UK's craft beer industry. Andy Thorburn hosts a series of deep-dive interviews with various guests from the craft beer community. New episodes fortnightly.

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