One Year No Beer Podcast Episode 5 – with Ben Branson
In this episode, OneYearNoBeer Co-Founder, Ruari Fairbairns, interviews Ben Branson. Ben is the Founder of Seedlip, the world’s first distilled non-alcoholic spirit.
‘What to drink when you’re not drinking’
Ben has had a lengthy and successful career in branding, having worked in some of the world’s biggest drinks companies and luxury brands. Being the natural visionary that he is, he then set his sights on creating an innovation that could bring his passions and experiences into one place and have a real reason to exist in people’s lives. And he was hell-bent on solving the dilemma of ‘what to drink when you’re not drinking.’ Enter Seedlip.
Listen as Ben talks about how his 300-year-old farming heritage, love for food and cooking, a book written in the 18th century called The Art of Distillation, and his extensive experience in branding came all together to create the world’s first non-alcoholic spirit.
It’s all in your mind
When we decide to start our journey to become alcohol free, one of the realities that we always have to face and overcome is societal pressure. Among other things, we have this fear of being singled out for not drinking. What we must also realize is that so much of drinking is psychology – routines and behavior we’ve been conditioned into believing. With this in mind, Seedlip offers a no-compromise solution. Ben expertly captures this in this interview:
“If you walk up to the bar and (someone else) orders a gin and tonic and (another) orders a whisky and coke, then I can order a Seedlip and tonic, and the bartender’s gonna do exactly the same thing in front of all of us . . . we all get the same experience, we all feel ‘part-of.’”
An adult drink with adult flavors
Ben also relates here in detail how Seedlip is made. He explains how each raw, natural ingredient is steeped for extended periods of time and carefully distilled to get the best flavor and highest quality aromas. This is not your ordinary fruit juice or ‘sugary, fizzy drink.’
Currently, Seedlip has two varieties on offer: Seedlip Spice 94, an aromatic and complex blend of individual copper-pot distillates including Oak, Allspice Berries and Grapefruit peel; and Seedlip Garden 108, a green and floral blend of individual copper-pot distillates including handpicked peas and hay, and traditional herbs including spearmint, rosemary and thyme.
Seedlip is available in some of UK’s finest Michelin Star restaurants, hotels and retailers including The Ledbury, The Savoy and Selfridges. Accordingly, they’ll be launching their third product this year. And they’re planning to expand and conquer the world – well, bars, restaurants, hotels and retailers mostly – starting with some key cities in the US and Western Europe soon.
Ben quips, “If you can go to a bar and choose between 10 amazing alcoholic cocktails, and 10 amazing non-alcoholic cocktails, that’s a fantastic state of play for the world to be in, is that choice.”
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