Tiny Rebel Brewing, The Interview
We ask Niall at Tiny Rebel a few questions.
Moz | 04 Sep 2018
Can you tell us a little about what we should expect from this beer?
It’s dark and roasty with all the flavours you’d expect from a beer of that description, but with a creamy sweet addition of marshmallow. There’s biscuit and chocolate and sticky vanilla notes. It’s like liquid s’mores.
I presume you’re big fans of Ghostbusters and the marshmallow man, what other influences do you take in your beer? What’s in a name?
Most of our inspiration comes from retro video games or films - there’s lots of nostalgia in what we do. Naming a beer is difficult! It’s like naming a child or an album, and it’s even more difficult when you release beers at the rate we do. Retro pop culture is such a huge body of work that there’s always something there to inspire us and to put a smile on our faces. That’s what beer’s all about.
There are a couple of other variations of this beer, is that just something you fancied doing? You always seem to be coming up with such a diverse range of beers. What’s the creative process behind a beer?
Kind of the same as naming it. Yeah, it is usually things we just fancy doing in all honesty! Things that make us laugh or smile, things we think would be cool to try, things we’d like to drink ourselves but have never come across before. Variety is the spice of life!
You’ve even gone and launched a gin! A new market for you. How’s that been?
It’s been incredible! It’s selling like crazy and is a firm favourite among the office team around 5pm on a Friday (Ok, maybe 3pm on a Friday, and Thursday). It’s nice to have an alternative to beer, going back to variety again. Gin has long been our nightcap after long shifts at beer festivals when you just fancy something different, and we thought we had three beers that would be delicious if translated into gin form, so we gave it a go!
This particular branding appears on one of your silos, how long have you had those and what are the plans ahead for the brewery site? I heard there is a place across the road.
We had two silos since starting brewing at the new site in January 2017. A few months later we had a third installed as we were brewing much more than we thought we would be so we needed to hold more bulk malt. Silo 3 features the Stay Puft branding. We’ve quickly realised that this new site - meant to be our home for the next 10 years at least - is not big enough for the speed we’re growing. Less than two years in and we’re already running out of space, so we’ve bought a similar sized plot of land across the road. We’re going to turn that into a dedicated warehouse and give ourselves a bit more room to brew and try new things by converting our current warehouse space.
How has it gone down so far since launch back in June 2017? What advantages has it brought?
The main advantage is the ability to produce a lot more beer. We can now brew 360 bbl a week rather than 120. That means getting it into the hands of a lot more people and showing them what we can do. It’s such a massive change to our old site, which was just two units on an industrial estate and a 12bbl kit. We were at capacity for years in the old place. We’re now getting to the limits of what our kit is able to do in the new site, so we’re constantly reinvesting in new tanks, packaging equipment and tools that will help with quality and consistency. It also means that we have an air conditioned office and a bar just downstairs, which is nice!
You have a couple of bars at the moment, are there plans to open any further afield?
No firm plans at the moment. Our focus is on the brewery and ensuring we can grow organically. We want to ensure that we’re able to grow our new home and be able to grow here for years to come. Maybe then we can dust off our plans for world domination.
When you join Tiny Rebel, we’ve noticed that you get your own drawing. Who’s behind the designs? What does it mean to the brand?
Every new colleague is asked how they want their bear to look. They can either write a couple of notes, or doodle it themself. Then it gets sent to Taz, our formidable creative director, who literally has a hand in every bit of design that we put out. By which I mean she hand draws it all, by herself. Then she works her magic to make it pop in that signature Tiny Rebel way. Personality is a big part of what we do and we want everyone that works here to feel that they can bring that with them, so having that identity that is both unique and in the shape of Tiny Rebel is really important.
Brad was in the running for a position at CAMRA earlier this year. We were rooting for you. Do you feel like real change is on the horizon or has the opportunity passed?
CAMRA is a big ship that takes a long time to change course. It has a lot of potential and we’re really hope they can continue to contribute positively to the UK beer scene. Like all members there are some things we - those of us that are members - disagree with in the Campaign, but that’s not going to affect what Tiny Rebel does. We’re always going to produce the beers we want to try, in whatever package we think is best and we’re never going to do anything other than that.
You now ship to more than 35 countries and have over 100 staff, you’ve grown fairly quickly to one of the best in the UK picking up awards along the way. Where is next on your radar?
We’d like to say something ridiculous like a Pay Per View TV channel or a beer inspired theme park inside the brewery, like something completely ludicrous just to take the mick. But some of our peers have actually gone and done them. We’ll have to raise the stakes.
How about the world’s only beer related space programme? A Tiny Rebel sports car. A sitcom that runs for 10 series and is syndicated globally.
Seriously though, we have no idea. We’ve been working hard on our gin launch and will keep working on it until it’s fully established and running itself nicely. We’ve got a few ideas we’re working on but all top secret for now!
Anything else you’d like to add?
Enjoy Stay Puft! We hope it puts a smile on your face. Tweet us with any variations you’d like to see in future!
Niall is Marketing Manager at Tiny Rebel, we asked him some questions for Stay Puft, a beer we featured in our beer subscription. You can read the write-up here: