The story so far
What started as a few friends tasting beer in a shed has turned in to the leading online beer club and subscription service in the UK. This is our (slightly crazy) journey so far...
Matt got his first job as a pot washer at his local pub when he was 14. At the end of each shift he got his wages and half a pint of beer for all his hard graft. He soon started looking forward to the beer more than the money. A love affair with beer begins (far too young).
After ten years of bullying friends to drink better beer, Matt starts holding beer tastings in a shed. It doesn’t take long before the shed starts getting busy.
Matt wonders what would happen if instead of a shed, he starts holding beer tastings on the internet. Thursday night at 9pm becomes #beerbods time. In a bid to get more people involved Matt puts up a one page website (which costs £0) explaining his idea for a beer club and subscription service. If 20 people sign up in the first week he will turn it in to a business. Over 250 people sign up in the first 24 hours. Good old Twitter.
We didn't have a business plan. Matt still had a full time job. The only money to get it off the ground was some measly savings and a couple of credit cards. But we asked a lot of favours of a lot of good people (you know who you are), threw up a website and somehow launched.
We reach 1,000 active subscribers. BeerBods is voted “one of the 100 most innovative, disruptive and resourceful small businesses” in the UK. Featured in the Guardian and Financial Times. Matt is still running BeerBods in his spare time.
We decide to get some investment and set crowd-funding records by raising £150,000 from 101 investors in 36 hours. The people who make BeerBods what it is now own a part of the business.
Employee #2 'Evil' Gordon joins. Together, we start plotting ways to get a lot more people drinking better beer.
Suddenly we find ourselves with enough subscribers to get beer brewed just for them. So we go and brew our first batch of BeerBods beer at Teme Valley Brewery. Now we're not just selling beer. We're making it too.
BeerBods TV (our Youtube channel) is launched. BeerBods is now four people, two dogs and three thousand subscribers as a result of the good people at BBC Good Food, delicious, Jamie Oliver (and many others) all saying nice things about us. One beer just isn't enough for our subscribers so we launch the shop, an ever changing selection of awesome mixed cases.
We launch BeerBods Live, a series of events bringing our amazing community together in person at the greatest beer venues across the UK. Beer, food, brewers, more beer... and a lot of fun.
Our team grows to six people and two dogs. Matt, Gordon, Tom, Gemma, Lily, Joe, Bert (the spaniel) and Harold (the terrier). We're now shipping to Europe.
We start trending on Twitter on a Thursday night between 9pm and 10pm. That becomes a regular occurrence. Our little beer club. Wow.
Our subscribers start getting a quarterly journal/magazine (we still don't know what to call it, but it's ace) in their beer deliveries. Print is not dead. We also launch BeerBods Plus.
We launch our second crowdfunding campaign and smash our target yet again, raising £265,000 from over 600 investors. The weekend starts beer is born; a weekly newsletter sent on Friday afternoons sharing the things that have caught our interest on t’internet that week. We also launch The Beer Writer’s Dozen in collaboration with (and supporting) The British Guild of Beer Writers.
BeerBods for Business is launched, offering services such as consultancy, wholesale and Friday beers. Moz and Joe join the team. We become a Living Wage employer. We get the sledgehammer out to extend into a new warehouse. This space will give us the capacity to grow tenfold over the coming years and that’s exactly what we intend to do.