European Food: The goal of your organization is to reshape the way in which we drink beer. What is wrong with the current way we do it?
Edwin Blom: Beer culture has evolved considerably, and there are many educated and passionate consumers who demand quality and integrity from their beers. A strong regional following and a local community tap room enable people to be involved in deciding what kind of beer is on tap. Once you have become accustomed to the variety of flavours that craft beers offer, it is hard to go back to domestic lagers.
Many of these new customers hadn’t been beer drinkers at all before they were exposed to craft beer. They drank wine and spirits and they had assumed they wouldn‘t like beer in general, because they didn’t like lagers. Craft breweries created this cultural shift organically, relying on word of mouth, the passion of the producers, and the quality of the product, with hardly any advertising. Today’s millennial consumers don’t even remember the times when there were just four national brands. They are used to this landscape of choice and options.
Once you have become accustomed to the variety of flavours that craft beers offer, it is hard to go back to domestic lagers. Edwin Blom
Today’s millennial consumers don’t even remember the times when there were just four national brands. They are used to this landscape of choice and options. Edwin Blom
European Food: How complicated is the technology that customers will have to master to brew their beers with your device?
Edwin Blom: MiniBrew proves that anyone can crack open the beer scene and pioneer new brewing flavours without any technical knowledge. The device makes it easy to share great moments at parties, barbecues and even the smallest gatherings with friends and loved ones. Your skill and happiness of being an artisan brewer will go beyond your kitchen and influence the world. We also have special offers for companies: Experience and enjoy brewing beer with your colleagues and have a beer together after work!
European Food: There has been a lot of talk about beer culture among craft beer enthusiasts in recent years. In what respect do you believe that Minibrew will be able to contribute to such beer culture?
Edwin Blom: It’s all about local craft beer. It’s not just your town, it’s your block. The eat-local approach has proved particularly relevant for beer. You can be inspired by insights and recipes from all around the world. The next step is about starting to put your creative juices towards making your own local craft beer. Today’s market is getting ready for home brewing. People want to make what they love, such as sour beers, beers with complex flavours, beer brewed differently, taking note of a shifting taste. I believe that many people can discover and make their own beers. Today, the most ideal scenario is a platform that moves beyond the brewery itself to encourage others to brew and to have fun with existing brewing recipes. To put it in simple terms: A platform can be the engine that outsources the costly process of brewing and uncertainty.
MiniBrew proves that anyone can crack open the beer scene and pioneer new brewing flavours without any technical knowledge. Edwin Blom
European Food: Which countries do you believe are the most promising markets for MiniBrew?
Edwin Blom: The market size and market growth of home brewing devices and ingredients and the total craft beer market are important indicators. Craft beer has grown extensively all over the world, but Europe and the United States are, at this moment, by far the largest areas. For the next phase, a certain level of digitalization is required and you need a robust distribution structure. Based on these factors we will start in Western Europe, including Germany, in 2018. I’m sure that we will learn a lot in the first launch markets and at the same time conduct further research on other areas to define our future growth path.
European Food: What is your favorite beer style – and can you already brew it using your technology?
Edwin Blom: I prefer different beer styles for different occasions. For full enjoyment, I prefer IPA or Triple because of their full taste. At social gatherings, I prefer more refreshing beers with a lower alcohol percentage, i.e. a session IPA or Saison. MiniBrew is able to brew almost all beers. For some beers we need double mashing, but we have already brewed beers up to an alcohol percentage of 14% with MiniBrew. It is a great journey of experiencing and enjoying new flavours.