Pig & Porter Brewing Co - Case Study

About the business

Pig and Porter was conceived as a small scale craft ale brewing and event catering business, which evolved from the respective hobbies of Sean and Robin. The idea was to provide an event catering business for which they supplied their own beer. 

Sean brewed their first beer on New Year’s Eve 2012. That first year they were solidly booked through summer, and in autumn took an opportunity to upscale into a former brewery in Tunbridge Wells. The pair found their beer was starting to generate real interest so chose to leave catering and focus solely on brewing great “Craft Beer”.

THE growth journey so far

Sean and Robin shared their small brewery with another brewer for the first year, which limited their production to one brew a week. They weren’t making or selling enough to employ both partners, so Sean stayed in his job, only brewing at the weekends while Robin sold & delivered, washed casks & helped in the brewery. 

Pig & Porter's beers became known & liked and they were achieving repeat sales. It was time to dream about running a bigger, more professional business.

The challenge

Many breweries never make it from start up to structured business. Although the Craft Ale market is expanding, there are new entrants all the time and competition can be fierce. Pig & Porter wanted to become recognized craft brewers countrywide with a clear brand and high quality beer. 

The challenge was very much to build a business that was grown on solid foundations and capable of substantial growth but in a planned manner. As with many small businesses, finding time to even take a more structured look at things seemed impossible, but David has allowed the directors to balance the day-to-day needs of running a brewery with the vitally important task of planning ahead.

Getting the right advice

David Martin, our Business of Drinks advisor, connected hands-on with the business, even turning up in the brewery one Saturday to help with the brew.  His experience helped develop initial ideas and keep the directors in touch with the pragmatic fundamentals of business. 

You need to create quality products, you need to find people to buy them from you and you need to manage the whole process for the benefit of all stakeholders. With David’s help Pig and Porter were able not only to develop their short and long term ideas, but also to recognize the steps they needed to take to reach each goal.

Implementing change

David has helped the directors build progress in stages. Together they've created a realistic growth plan that has seen Robin and Sean secure the brewery site solely for themselves.  They now have Sean working full time for the company and have employed an assistant. Along the way they have created a good, solid distribution model which is working well and this summer have totally rebranded Pig and Porter to rave reviews. 

What The Business of Drinks offers is time, focus and perspective. Meetings now result in wide-ranging action points that actually get chased up. With this coaching and mentoring programme, the brewers believe they are on the road to converting their great product into a slick, high-functioning business. 

Sparkling Wine Brand – Case Study


Our client is a single estate sparkling wine producer who wanted support developing a new five year business plan that included a more defined brand proposition plus a Sales & Marketing strategy geared for ambitious growth.  When we first encountered the business, they sold the majority of their produce to a local winery, but they were keen to reclaim the entire harvest and expand its own production and sales.   They also had started to run events on site as a means to sell more product directly to customers.

Barriers to Growth

Heading a very small team, the owner missed the interaction and sounding board capabilities of another senior leader and as such was keen to use an experienced business coach to thrash out ideas and plans for the growth of this project.  The owner also recognised the need for a stronger brand proposition that would mark their product out from a growing number of English Sparking wine producers.

The Work

Through a series of coaching sessions and workshops (as a Growth Accelerator Coach), we helped the owner to formalise a five-year business plan that outlined the business objectives, product capability, infrastructure, brand definition, sales and marketing strategy.  For example, we defined the most appropriate sales distribution channels and the approach required to secure a retail contract with a leading supermarket chain.  We also identified particular restaurants and venues that would be aligned to their brand story and value set.

The Results

This coaching programme resulted in the development of a clear road map that outlined short, mid and longer-term growth steps for the business.   The brand recently won two prestigious awards for its 2011 vintage and looks set to achieve the growth ambitions mapped out by the plan.