So, we made it into the East Anglian Daily Times on 16 July 2016. Reporter Charlotte Smith-Jarvis said:
BEER LOVERS LAUNCH TWO NEW FESTIVALS
Entrepreneurs and beer connoisseurs Greg Cooper and Marc Titford have just launched their first beer festival, to take place at St Peter’s on the Waterfront in Ipswich on August 19 and 20.
“There will be 30 plus cask ales and ciders over the two days, and a wine bar and Belgian bar. And we’ll have street food available as well. Apart from the Belgian beer we thought we’d keep it as simple as possible for the first event, but in the future we’re thinking of putting on American craft ales,” said Greg.
“We’re working with a number of breweries from around the region and it’s exciting as we’ve got two beers being brewed for us. It will be called the Saints Beer Festival and there’ll be a theme – ‘are you a saint or a sinner?’ We’ll have one light beer called All Saint and a dark one called All Sinner, brewed at Brierbank.”
Following this, on September 16 and 17 Beer and Co host Oktoberfest, which will be a pre-ticketed event packed with German brews and, of course, sausages.
Looking ahead, the pair hope to organise some events around Christmas, and look forward to working with businesses based on St Peter’s Street to create more fun attractions next year.
“Our events will have a whole range of difference beers and we aim to have something different each time people haven’t had before. It’s brilliant because the sector is exploding. There are microbreweries popping up everywhere, and the customer is becoming a lot more experimental. From a market perspective it’s a really exciting time.”
Greg has been working with Graham Addison of Ahead4Wine too, and will be at the next pop-up tapas and wine tasting event at Colours Continental in Ipswich on August 5 with a selection of beers to try.
“The whole reason I’m doing this event with Graham is to encourage partners to come along. Traditionally beer, not wanting to be sexist, has been viewed as a man’s thing. So we’re trying to get couples to come together for a meet and greet and to broaden their opportunities.”
Greg’s passion for a good tipple has led him into his new career, setting up Beer and Co with business partner Marc.
“I love beer,” Greg said. “I had an inkling I was going to be made redundant so before that happened I was looking around for business opportunities. During that period I happened to go over to Belgium with Marc on a beer trip and we got talking in the car – wouldn’t it be great if we could set up a beer experience? He’s got a lot of sommelier knowledge of the beer world, and I have a lot of experience drinking it! But also managing events and business start-ups through my previous work.”
With the seed of an idea in mind, and with other opportunities for franchises not catching Greg’s eye, from that initial road-trip-fuelled banter, a fully-formed business plan began to take shape.
“We thought there was a gap in the market for a bespoke, pop-up type festival event. In essence we are a creative company specialising in beer events, festivals and corporate functions. The idea is to provide an exciting and educational experience. We talk about the products, give information like what its make-up is, what the ingredients are and more. We have our own walk-up and ticketed events, but can also organise bespoke celebrations and events.”
To find out more about the Saints Beer Festival and Oktoberfest find Beer and Co on Facebook (Beerandco.uk), on Twitter at beerandcouk and online at beerandco.uk