Today’s guest hails from Wellington, New Zealand. Stu McKinlay—along his business partner, Sam Possenniskie—founded Yeastie Boys in 2008. Stu had also been running a homebrew supply company called Liberty Brewing, but eventually sold it and put all of his energy into brewing.
Instead of building their own brewery, the Yeastie Boys decided to focus on their brand. After developing their recipes, they had them brewed under contract at the Invercargill brewery on New Zealand’s South Island. In 2015, they sold equity in the brewery through crowdfunding, raising half a million dollars in just half an hour, with investors from all over the world.
New Zealand has a population of four and a half million people. That’s almost half the population of London alone. So in order to make full use of this new found investment, McKinlay relocated his entire family to the UK and began the process of turning Yeastie Boys into an internationally recognized brand. As well as managing exports from New Zealand, Yeastie Boys also began contract brewing their core range in the UK, forming a partnership with BrewDog along the way.
Relocating to the other side of the world to grow your business is a huge deal, so I was keen to speak to Stu about the motivations behind this and how he thinks his brand can find relevance in a foreign marketplace.