Beer and rugby have always gone hand in hand. Enterprising young business, Bison Beer, established in March this year with the aim of providing a new beer for every occasion, got a welcome boost in sales with a clever and creative idea themed around The Rugby World Cup. Nick Vardy, one of the two founders of Bison Beer, explains how his thematic business planning is reaping high rewards.
Bison Beer is a craft beer business based right in the heart of Brighton. Founders Nick and Jack met at university while studying for a degree in broadcast and post production. After graduating, Nick worked his way to being a creative director and Jack became a video editor. Jack has always wanted to start his own business. He would often bring new craft beers for Nick and his family when he would visit. With both of them being creative in nature, they came up with the idea to open a beer shop. They wanted to serve the best craft beers from independent breweries around the world. The premise was a simple one, offer a new type of beer for every occasion.
Bison Beer Crafthouse
Nick and Jack offer a wide choice of beers that people may only get to try once or twice in their lives. To support their mission, Bison Beer Crafthouse teams up with many different partners and events companies. Their recent ‘Meet the Brewer’ event had guest speakers from top breweries such as New Zealand’s Yeastie Boys. They served up an incredible selection of beer, complemented by food pairings from local restaurant 64 Degrees. Such nights have been a sell out.
After just three months in business, Bison Beer decided to add another string to its bow. At the end of May this year, Growlers were launched. ‘Growlers’ are attractive and recyclable amber glass bottles. They originated in the USA, and they have the capacity to contain almost two litres of draft beer. Later this year, a direct order and delivery arm will be officially launched called The Growlers Club. Local people and businesses will be able to order Bison Beer direct, and have Growlers delivered to their door.
Bison Beer and the Rugby World Cup
Nick explains the summer has been good for business. “Beer sells when the sun is shining.” Bison Beer came up with a great plan inspired by the Rugby World Cup. “Where there’s rugby, there’s beer,” explains Nick. “We’ve certainly seen an uptake in Growlers since the rugby has been on. The rugby has extended our great summer run on sales, and we’re seeing lots of demand now and into October.”
To capitalise on the rugby-fuelled demand, Bison Beer did some advance business planning. They monitored cash flow using Xero’s mobile accountancy app, and bought as much top quality stock as their current bank balance allowed.
The idea was to put the best and strongest beers from each rival nation up against each other, head-to-head. In support of the Wales versus England game last week, Bison Beer selected a powerful beer from Welsh-based brewer, Tiny Rebel and matched this with a big, hoppy beer from Bristol’s Moor Beer Co in support of England fans. Pitting the beers head-to-head in this way via a social media campaign drummed up plenty of interest and sales.
“If you plan a little in advance and figure out when the best times are to really ‘go hard’ on your business, you can be really strategic about your financial planning,” comments Nick. “I use Xero’s mobile application everyday to reconcile accounts and make quick business decisions. That leaves me more time and peace of mind to be creative and do fun things with rugby and beer.”
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Source: Xero Feed