Bellfield Brewery in Edinburgh is the UK's first craft brewery dedicated entirely to gluten-free beer. It’s a brewery with a mission: to create great tasting, gluten-free beer that anyone can drink. Bellfield’s founders are coeliac, so they’re really passionate about what they do; producing beer in small batches, using traditional methods combined with non-traditional ingredients. Just naturally, great tasting gluten-free beer because that’s all they do.
Kieran from Bellfield completed our six questions, to give us an insight into what motivates and inspires the team.
1.How/why and when did you start your business?
It started as a conversation in an Edinburgh pub between two friends in Portobello, Edinburgh, who had both been diagnosed with Coeliac disease and couldn’t find a gluten-free beer they liked. Gutted at the prospect of life-long abstention from their favourite drink, they decided to set up a microbrewery. They got in touch with me and I joined early on as Brewer, to design the recipes for our first two beers. These were developed in a tiny, R &D brew kitchen and then scaled up and we launched them to the world in March 2016, in Glasgow. Three years on, we’ve built up solid distribution across the UK and we’ve recently launched two new beers, in cans.
2. What advice would you give to someone starting a new business in the sector?
Don’t give up the day job until you’re certain you have a viable business! Seriously though, it’s a complex business and if you are running it yourself, you have to brew, sell, market, deliver, answer the phones, find time to be witty on social media - and everything in between - so having access to funding to be able to employ some help, is a huge bonus.
3. What motivates you?
Making really tasty beer that everyone can enjoy. Just because it’s gluten-free, doesn’t mean it should be missing any flavour. I am a craft-beer fanatic; I can’t think of any other job that’s as varied as mine is right now. One minute I’m on the phone to a potential distributor in USA, the next I’m hosing down and polishing our new brewing vessels and the next I’m having a pint in Safari Lounge with one of our top customers.
4. How do you think the food & drinks industry could improve?
By cooperating a bit more. There are five or six microbreweries in and around Edinburgh and it seems pointless each of us trying to put in a bottling or canning line for example. Equally all of us doing our own deliveries, sales, marketing and so on.
5. Is there an individual or organisation, current or in the past, who inspires you?
I love Brewgooder and Alan Mahon making beer and giving the profits to build clean water wells in Africa. A very inspiring company.
6. Apart from Greencity, which other three or more people, living or deceased, would you invite to make a dinner party entertaining?
Billy Connolly, Keith Floyd, Emma Thompson
If you’d like any more information about Bellfield Brewery, you can check out their website at bellfieldbrewery.com or contact the Greencity Sales Team who are always happy to help.