In addition to keeping you updated about all the great things that are going on at The Clubhouse, we thought we would turn the tables and put the focus on all the exciting things our fantastic members are achieving!
For this month’s ‘Member in the Spotlight’ feature we spoke to Richard Longhurst, CEO, The Hofmeister Brewing Company
1. Tell us about your company.
The Hofmeister Brewing Company is less than 18 months old but a lot has happened since our incorporation in December, 2015. We have successfully acquired, from Heineken, all of the Hofmeister lager trademarks, goodwill and copyright associated with those trademarks and relaunched Hofmeister as a premium, imported Bavarian Helles lager. Having acquired the trademarks we set about building the best team we could to launch a relevant, premium brand into a highly congested and competitive market place but we had to start with the beer itself and we have worked extremely closely with Privatbrauerei Schweiger to create the best Bavarian Helles possible. Our product has received some amazing write-ups, generated praise from the trade but most importantly has been extremely well received by British beer drinkers of all ages.
2. What has been your biggest success?
I think for me personally it has been to successfully turn a good idea and vision into a functioning business and to have built up a network of investors, advisors and business partners who can be proud of the product and brand they have helped to relaunch. To be helping to lead our amazing management team, who will drive the business forward over the coming years, is actually quite humbling. Relaunching a brand that had been hibernating for 13 years and that was worth £100m in 1983, has been an incredible challenge and one that has taken dedication and teamwork to pull off.
3. What project are you most excited about right now?
Our move into draught in the on-trade. We started as a bottle-only business but recently we have launched kegs which allow us to serve Hofmeister Helles on draught in pubs, bars and restaurants. There is nothing quite like walking into a pub and seeing your beer on the bar, people holding Hofmeister Helles glasses and enjoying a pint or two of this fantastic beer! The reaction from consumers has been excellent and the rate of sale per outlet is ahead of plan with people really enjoying and responding well to the quality and provenance of the beer.
4. How has being a member of The Clubhouse contributed to the success of your business?
Being a member of The Clubhouse has been a real asset to our development. The environment is great to work in and to be surrounded by like-minded people helps foster a ‘can do’ attitude which is essential within our sector. Having a central London base has also been incredibly useful both for meetings and when members of the team need to get some focused work done in a relaxed but business friendly space.
5. Where can members find you?
We’re always at The Clubhouse, St James’s, on the ground floor where we’re spread out at a table with several coffee cups and lots of paperwork!
Quick Fire Round:
Favourite place to go in London?
The Wolseley for a proper breakfast.
Who inspires you and why?
Richard Branson, from starting a mail order music business from a phone box to running an airline – anything is possible! James Dyson – total belief in a brilliant innovative design, great product development and delivery of a market-changing concept.
Best bit of advice you’ve been given?
Never stop raising money.
If you were on a desert island, what would you bring?
Plenty of Hofmeister Helles.
Which super power would you like to have?
I like the idea of being able to fly.
What is the worst business ‘faux-pas’ you’ve committed?
Replying to an email when I meant to forward it.