Crafting Success: The Journey of Brewing Entrepreneurship in Bangalore’s F&B Landscape
“Recognizing the paramount importance of consistency, we acknowledge that consumers return for a familiar experience,” says Prasanna Kumar, Co-founder at Blr Brewing Co & Beanlore India.
Meet the visionary entrepreneur who seamlessly transitioned from the IT industry to leave an indelible mark in the vibrant world of Food and Beverage. This article delves into the inspiring journey of Prasanna Kumar, the Co-founder behind Bangalore Brewing Company and Beanlore India. From rescuing a struggling microbrewery to founding two thriving ventures, the entrepreneur shares insights into the evolution of Bangalore Brewing Company, its expansion plans, and the inception of Beanlore Coffee Roasters. Discover the dynamic strategies employed to navigate the complexities of the brewing and coffee business, the integration of sustainability practices, and the meticulous approach to creating an inviting ambiance. Gain valuable lessons and advice for aspiring microbrewery founders, and get an exclusive glimpse into the exciting projects, partnerships, and innovations on the horizon for this trailblazing F&B entrepreneur.
Can you share with us your journey from the IT industry to co-founding Bangalore Brewing Company and Beanlore India in the F&B sector? What inspired this transition?
Much before BLR Brewing Co and Beanlore Coffee Roasters, I endeavoured to support my friends who had initiated a microbrewery on the verge of closure. Through my efforts, I successfully transformed it into a lucrative business. This experience not only provided me with a taste for the food and beverage industry but also ignited a passion that led me to pursue it as my full-time career. BLR Brewing Co. and Beanlore Coffee Roasters are products from previous learning experiences and passion for food & beverage.
Bangalore Brewing Company has become a popular name in the craft beer scene. Could you elaborate on your expansion plans for the brewery and any new ventures in the pipeline?
I hold the belief that the brewing industry has untapped potential beyond just beer. Hence, we are in the process of introducing a range of craft-driven products. Simultaneously, we cherish collaborating with fellow beer enthusiasts to create unique brews, often incorporating locally sourced ingredients to craft distinctive beverages.
The craft beer industry has been evolving rapidly. From your perspective, what trends do you observe in the craft beer market, and how do you see Bangalore Brewing Company adapting to these changes?
The preferences of beer enthusiasts are evolving, with a growing inclination towards bitter brews and an increasing demand for fruit-infused varieties. Simultaneously, there is a noticeable shift in the trend, as consumers are now seeking low ABV options. We are actively responding to these changing consumer preferences and adapting our offerings accordingly.
With the increasing demand for unique and diverse craft beer offerings, how does Bangalore Brewing Company approach innovation in brewing and stay ahead in a competitive market?
Recognizing the paramount importance of consistency, we acknowledge that consumers return for a familiar experience. Simultaneously, we strive to keep things fresh by regularly introducing new offerings, ensuring there’s always something novel for them to explore.
Beanlore India is another venture under your umbrella. Can you tell us about the concept behind Beanlore and how it complements the vision of Bangalore Brewing Company?
Embracing my personal coffee addiction and the joy of working from cafes, I found solace away from the conventional office environment. At Beanlore Coffee Roasters, we offer PODS for private meetings, video calls, and various other gatherings. Simultaneously, my passion for specialty coffee motivated the establishment of our own specialty coffee shop. The name itself, a nod to a community sharing tales about beans, embodies our vision. Excitingly, we are gearing up to host workshops on specialty coffee brews and share stories about estates cultivating distinctive coffee beans and exploring unique fermentation processes.
Operating in the F&B sector can present various challenges. How do you navigate the complexities of both brewing and coffee business, ensuring success for both Bangalore Brewing Company and Beanlore India?
All my credits go to my unwavering passion for craft beers, food, and the delightful pairing of both, which continues to captivate my interests. As emphasized earlier, consistency is paramount in our industry, and owing to my addiction to coffee, beer, and food, I am dedicated to regularly testing our crafts and providing final approvals based on the consumer experience.
Sustainability and eco-conscious practices are gaining importance. How does Bangalore Brewing Company integrate sustainability into its operations, and are there any future initiatives planned in this direction?
Given our association with Bangalore in our name, we are committed to preserving the charm of the Garden City. As part of our initiative, we gift plants to our customers using seed paper coasters placed under all craft drinks served, accompanied by a thoughtful message. We adhere to a nearly zero-plastic policy in our operations. In instances where complete avoidance is challenging, we prioritize the use of top-notch biodegradable products. Our spaces are predominantly designed with earthen materials and colors, adorned with ample greenery. Through these initiatives, we firmly believe in contributing towards a sustainable future.
The ambiance and service at a brewpub contribute significantly to the overall experience. Can you share insights into how you ensure excellent design and service, creating a welcoming environment for patrons?
Our paramount objective in creating the ambiance revolves around incorporating the five elements of nature and embracing the nostalgic theme of old Bangalore. I firmly believe that humans never go out of fashion and maintain a profound connection with nature. Additionally, we design our space with a focus on the local context, enhancing the ambiance with a touch of premiumization. When it comes to service, we uphold a zero-tolerance approach for second chances. Hospitality is our cornerstone, ensuring that every guest at BLR Brewing Co. feels at home during each visit.
Marketing is a key aspect of any successful business. What strategies have you found most effective in promoting your microbrewery, and how do you maintain a strong online and offline presence to attract new customers?
Collaborating with local influencers and participating in community events has allowed us to tap into the local market effectively. Word-of-mouth marketing remains invaluable, and we encourage satisfied customers to share their experiences online.
Customer engagement is crucial in the hospitality industry. How do you foster a sense of community around your microbrewery, and what initiatives do you undertake to build and retain a loyal customer base?
Building a sense of community around our brewpub or coffee shop is a priority for us. To foster customer engagement and loyalty, we implement several initiatives. Events and Gatherings, Membership Programs, Customer Feedback and Involvement, Social Media Engagement, Personalized Experiences and more.
Looking ahead, what’s next on the horizon for you in the F&B sector? Are there any exciting projects, partnerships, or innovations that you can give us a sneak peek into?
Our ambitious growth plans involve sustainably scaling our business to two-digit numbers of outlets initially, and with the acceptance and support of our customers who we consider part of our extended family, we are open to the possibility of expanding to three-digit numbers when the time is right. Furthermore, our commitment to collaboration remains strong, particularly with local brands, as we seek to curate unique and exceptional experiences for our valued guests.
Finally, For aspiring microbrewery founders, what key lessons or pieces of advice would you share based on your experience in creating and sustaining a successful microbrewery?
The key mantra for business success lies in staying abreast of market trends, ensuring perpetual relevance, and above all, unwavering consistency stands as the foremost and primary determinant of success.