Epic Brewing Doubles Its Workforce
Having built its business on a virtual business model, with out-sourcing of its brewing, warehousing, logistics and sales and the use of non-traditional marketing via online and social media tools, Epic Brewing Company is now doubling its workforce from one full time employee to two.
Luke Nicholas, brainchild behind the increasingly popular (both here and overseas) Epic beers, has recently employed Kelly Ryan, previously of Thornbridge Brewery in the UK. (See picture, Luke L, Kelly R)
“We first met in 2009, brewed together, then again in 2010. When I heard Kelly was returning to NZ, the timing couldn’t have been better, as I had started to realize I had spread myself too thin and there were areas of the business I found I wasn’t excelling in any more. So it was time to hire some help” says Luke.
Their career paths seem to have been highlighted with a star studded, rock star style similarity.
Like Luke’s recent appearance on US cable channel Discovery’s Brew Masters series, Kelly also has been seen on TV with the highly respected BBC show Oz & James Drink to Britain as well as appearing in UK beer documentary, Beertickers: Beyond the Ale.
Kelly is considered one of the most influential craft brewers in the UK, and is well respected for his online and social media skills which include his highly ranked blog (in the top 10 of F&B blogs in the UK). Kelly may also have won as many if not more medals for his beers than Luke has. Until the official joint count is in, you could say it is nearing 400.
Luke has owned and run RealBeer.co.nz for over 10 years, including the blog and is the number one beer and brewing website in New Zealand.
It is interesting how these two brewers paths have met. Luke grow up with a grandfather that home brewed, homebrewed himself for years and then asked for a job at the local brewpub as assistant brewer. Kelly started his brewing out of a highly successful graduation in Food Science and Microbiology, and went straight into DB Breweries, from there to Fyne Ales in Scotland, and then onto Thornbridge.
Now with two of New Zealand’s most internationally awarded, and globally respected brewers, and building international demand, Epic is ready to take the next step with increasing growth in the export market.
“Our first 40 foot container arrives in Sweden on the 2nd February, with interest now coming from Norway, Italy, Canada, Japan, the UK and Denmark. Sales are growing for our initial export markets Australia and the USA” says Luke.
When we asked Luke What Kelly’s official job title was, he responded with: “Currently it is “Mild Mannered Janitor” he has to work his way up, as he learns the ropes, and earns all the badges.”