Former pubco pair pump funds into revamped Hofmeister

By Stuart Stone contact

- Last updated on GMT

Premium pour: 'Hofmeister already has such strong brand awareness and affection, which usually costs millions to get,' Euan Venters explained
Premium pour: 'Hofmeister already has such strong brand awareness and affection, which usually costs millions to get,' Euan Venters explained

Related tags: Greene king, Ei Group, Beer, Finance

Two pub industry veterans have invested in revived beer brand Hofmeister, which they believe is in line to be one of the UK’s most popular pours in the next five years.

Kim Francis and Euan Venters have not only poured funds into Hofmeister but have been unveiled as non-executive directors. 

Francis most recently served as managing director of Ei Group and in charge of running 1,900 pubs in London and the south east while Venters was managing director of Greene King’s brewing and brands until 2013.

Francis even has previous experience with Hofmeister – at one time the fourth biggest beer brand in the UK – having listed and sold it during his days at Courage. 

Relaunched in 2017 by drinks entrepreneurs Spencer Chambers and Richard Longhurst after acquiring the brand from Heineken in 2004, Hofmeister has been reinvented as a premium 5% Helles lager made in keeping with the 1516 German Reinheitsgebot beer purity brewing law which dictates that it can only use three local ingredients – mineral water, barley and hops.

What’s more, next month Hofmeister will be launching Hofmeister Weisse, a traditional Bavarian wheat beer at 5.1% ABV, and Hofmeister Ultra Low, a 0.5% ABV Bavarian Helles lager. 

Hofmeister-2

£10m target

Initially distributing across London and the south east, the former pubco pair will aim to position Hofmeister in top specialist retail and on-trade outlets with a target of being in between 1,200 and 1,400 venues over the next four years, with sales of about £10m.

Discussing his involvement with the brand, Francis said he was intrigued by the new look Hofmeister when he came across it at a trade show last year. 

“I first tasted the beer and thought it was amazing,” he explained. “Then I talked to Richard and Spencer about their plans for the brand and could see what an enormous opportunity this was. 

“They have a beer, a brand and a plan that can make Hofmeister the most compelling beer brand in the market.

“People drink with their eyes and how good the beer looks in the glass. Get that right and you can offer them the best drinking experience.” 

Venters added that he believes the world beer market is wide open for a quality German brew.

“Richard and Spencer have done a fabulous job taking it to where it is,” he said. “It’s now a case of evolving its brand positioning and distribution.  

“Hofmeister already has such strong brand awareness and affection, which usually costs millions to get, and we now have the authenticity as well. We think it will be a huge success.

“The product is fabulous, it looks good and you have this brilliant entrepreneurs’ story. That’s why we believe in it."

Related topics: Beer

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