“Originally Grant was the Mad Yank,” says Larissa. “He was the American who was leaving the military after nearly two decades, before getting his retirement package, to start a brewery. The idea now is that the whole experience and ambiance of the brewery and taproom is about trying new things and not playing it safe.”
Larissa says: “We aim to make everything approachable, especially for people who are hesitant to begin their craft beer journey. We use combinations of ingredients that people haven’t come across before. For example, our Disco Duck has vegan white chocolate and cherry.”
The Mad Yank Brewery also sells a raspberry, lemon and white chocolate pale ale inspired by the couple’s wedding cake. “With the various lockdowns and growing the business, we completely forgot about our wedding anniversary. But that ended up inspiring a beer. It has a pinkish hue like a blush wine and you can taste the different layers, like a cake.”
Larissa and Grant use Starling to manage their business finances. “I love everything about Starling, it’s so compact and gives you such an easy overview. When invoices are paid, I get the immediate notification. It makes life easier.”
Growing a business through lockdown
For The Mad Yank Brewery, founded in 2017, lockdown presented both challenges and opportunities. “The whole industry came to a screeching halt. But that gave us the chance to launch a web shop, work with couriers and do our own local deliveries,” says Larissa, 41.
Previously, the couple relied on local shops to sell their craft beers. The launch of their online shop has led to many more direct sales, which means they’ve got to know their customers better. They’ve also had more time to dedicate to the development of their new taproom (opening later this year) and a larger brewing area.
As part of this self-funded expansion, the couple will be hiring their first employees. “Our goal is for our business to be one big family. And to tear down the perceived exclusivity around craft beer through the approachable way we engage with customers.”