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How Pirate Life grew seven-fold in their first two years

  • Episode 004 - 01hr 13mins
  • June 27, 2017

Sean Robertson of Pirate Life Brewing, one of Australia's fastest growing breweries, joins Andy Thorburn to discuss the Pirate Life story, the challenges around product consistency and the need for a highly tactical and strategic approach as Pirate Life enters the UK’s highly competitive craft beer market.

On this week’s episode, Andy Thorburn is joined by Sean Robertson who heads up European sales and marketing for Australia’s fastest growing brewery, Pirate Life Brewing, who have recently began importing to the UK.

Pirate Life Brewing was founded after Jack Cameron and Red Proudfoot, both from Western Australia, met by chance during an apprenticeship at Brewdog. A great friendship was formed and the pair along with Jack’s father Mick- who also worked for Brewdog, came across a brewery in Adelaide and decided to make their dream a reality. With its proximity to the Barossa Valley, Adelaide’s expectations for high quality food and drink have ensured that Pirate Life are committed to brewing exceptional beers, and their dedication to quality is evident in all facets of their business.

Sean and I discuss the roots of Pirate Life, the battle for consistent quality and freshness, and the importance of a highly strategic and tactical approach to entering the UK’s incredibly competitive market.

Key insights

  • The most important element to growth is personal representation. Create a lifestyle brand, live it. Create strong, lasting relationships to engage and energise your market. Beer is a social product, it requires personality.

  • Quality is a crucial element to success. Brewers, publicans and consumers have a responsibility to create, serve and demand beer that is of the highest quality. Without the combined effort of all three, craft beer’s success will always be challenged.

  • And lastly, quality is paramount, but without meticulous planning and strategy success will always be harder.

Show notes

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Sean Robertson

Sean Robertson

With over 24 years experience in hospitality and beer industries, Sean has a vast amount of experience in building brands and engaging with consumers and customers alike. His approach to launching Pirate Life in the UK has been indicative of his deep understanding of the UK's beer market. 


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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