Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 41 Page 42 Page 43 Page 44 Page 45 Page 46 Page 47 Page 48 Page 49 Page 50 Page 51 Page 52 Page 53 Page 54 Page 55 Page 56 Page 57 Page 58 Page 59 Page 60 Page 61 Page 62 Page 63 Page 64 Page 65 Page 66 Page 67 Page 6810 BREWING & BEVERAGE INDUSTRIES BUSINESS …are essential prerequisites for British brewing enterprises as the industry enters its next phase of evolution – or revolution or whatever we’re going to call it. Be that a foot-to-the-floor drive towards even more growth and diversity, or a burst-bubble reversal to consolidation and rationalisation. It’s not as if I’ve encountered anyone brash enough to stand up and declare that what’s been happening these past few decades has been entirely predictable. So who knows what’s next? Fixed and flexible? Am I being oxymoronic? I hope not (but I’ve been called worse). Take the former: if you sought from the outset to establish a company earnest in intent, professional in its operation and with profitability as its vision, it has never been more critically important for its foundations to be stable. You need a secure financial footing, a sound working structure, consistent quality production standards and some reliable routes to market. And that’s just to get you on to a level playing field, let alone win the toss and kick-off with the wind behind you and the pitch magically tilting you towards your goals. And the latter: the very uncertainty and fluidity, which continue to characterise our intensely competitive world of brewing, beer, pubs and the off trade, demand that you never assume your stability affords you the luxury of relaxing and basking in the conceit that, as my father used to say – with a smug grin on his face, and mostly to annoy my mother – ‘I am the master of all I survey!’ You must be able to respond to those forces you can never control. Which means taking steps to develop your business with a flexibility that builds on its foundations without undermining them, keeps your strategic planning in tune with prevailing industry trends, and ensures that you are ready at all times to turn the unexpected to your advantage. Fine words, I hear you say, but how exactly do I make all that happen? Despite the relative youth of much of our industry, it has matured; and it has, at its heart, a real ‘family’ of passionate veterans, some of whom are no longer directly involved at the sharp end – where they have built their impressive track records – but who nevertheless remain dedicated to its overall prosperity. Brewindex is a new company, established with a clear and straight- forward purpose. Its name compacts brewing industry expertise into a single word, to create an index of consultants with a breadth of knowledge and a wealth of experience gained over many years in senior positions in our sector. The business is composed of five core partners – Ian Bearpark, Phil Barnett, Keith Bott, Andy Slee, and me – plus Jamie Allison, representing Napthens Solicitors. (You may recognise some names: find further details at Following a no-charge, no-obligation, exploratory and diagnostic meeting, you can choose to go ahead with advice and input from the lead consultant(s) best suited to the needs of your business. Contracts will be agreed on a fixed day or retainer basis – in effect offering a ‘pay-as-you-go’ non-executive director, just for as long as required. In addition to its in-house consultants, Brewindex is building the resource of a comprehensive network index – experts in all fields that might be needed by a brewery. Perhaps most importantly, this could include fast-track access to financial services. The vision is to co-ordinate and target infrastructure support, so as to underpin fixed foundations and enable flexible strategic development. You might have noticed that Brewindex has win at its heart. That could be YOUR WIN… Fixed and flexible... …for a flourishing future! After beginning his working life as a teacher, Julian Grocock joined fledgling pub company Tynemill (founded in 1977 by former CAMRA national chairman, Chris Holmes), rising to become MD in 2002, when Castle Rock Brewery in Nottingham was becoming the core of the business. In 2007, Julian was appointed as the first chief executive of SIBA, the Society of Independent Brewers, taking charge and supervisory control of trade association activities: membership and members’ services; political, industry and media liaison; conference (directing and delivering four themed events); beer and business competi- tions; and annual survey and industry report (writing six reports himself). Four years into this role, Julian moved back to the ‘sharp end’ – buying the lease of a Leicestershire village pub. He thus enhanced his understanding of current brewing and pub industry issues, and built a successful business before selling it last year. In 2013/14, Julian contributed significantly to an extensive review of SIBA operations, which sought to implement a ‘holistic’ operational and strategic structure, by combining trade association and commercial operations under a managing director. Choosing not to apply for this new, bigger role, he left SIBA in June 2014. Business mentoring Former SIBA chief executive Julian Grocock explains how he has joined with others to help breweries on their way up. 10_Layout 1 30/10/2016 12:35 Page 1