Claire speaks to the co-founder of Gen!us Brewing to find out more about their great lager and why they decided to brew a beer that is lighter in calories than an apple!
Can you introduce Gen!us Craft Lager?
The UK’s first light craft lager, Gen!us was launched in 2018 with a mission to make responsible drinking a pleasure, rather than a compromise. Brewed with the finest pilsner malts and Styrian Golding hops, Gen!us is matured with Galaxy and Ella hops for a subtle citrus aroma and smooth finish. At 3% ABV and only 72kcal, Gen!us has fewer calories than an apple. It’s also exactly 1 unit of alcohol per can!
Were there any parts of the journey, to setting up Genius, that you remember fondly or would rather forget?
The past year has been such a whirlwind, it’s hard to remember a thing, good or bad! Certainly, the craft beer space has become overcrowded which is a challenge for any new brand. There’s also the challenge of finding routes to market, especially in the on-trade, where the big brewers have very effective barriers around many pubs and venues. But there’s been many, many highlights: from seeing our first gorgeous gold cans produced; to being stocked in Gleneagles; to hearing a female guest at a London gym launch party declare that, “Gen!us has changed my relationship with beer!”
What is your company ethos?
We’re all about ‘Smart Drinking’: making healthier, responsible drinking a pleasure not a compromise. Historically lower-alcohol beers carried a stigma, a hangover from the low-quality products previously on offer. But times have changed. Lower-alcohol can taste great, it just has to be expertly brewed with great ingredients. Who wouldn’t want a truly tasty beer that’s also better for them? It’s not just smart drinking, it’s genius!
Genius Brewing is not just about making good beer, we want to do good which is why we became Official Fundraising Partners with the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation. Co-founder Jason Clarke played rugby with Doddie and his wife’s father died of MND. It’s a terrible disease. Our #5p4Doddie pledge donates 5p from every can of Gen!us to Doddie’s fight to change the future of MND.
What drew you to brewing a lighter beer at only 72 calories a can?
Back in 2016, we foresaw the move to healthier drinking. From low-carb diets to skinny lattes, consumers were clearly placing more priority on health. The UK Chief Medical Officers’ lower ‘safe drinking’ guidelines of 14 units per week were symptomatic of the changes underway.
When conceiving Gen!us, we initially focused on lower-alcohol. At 3%, there’s enough ‘oomph’ to make Gen!us a genuine pleasure (‘no alcohol’ is just no fun) but low enough to be 40% alcohol less than 5% lagers. We knew Gen!us would also be lower-calorie but couldn’t know exactly how low until we had our brew tested. The results were stunning. At 72kcal per 330ml can, Gen!us is 47% lower than Peroni, 29% lower than Coors Light; 25% lower than Bud Light; and even less calories than Michelob Ultra.
While our 3% ABV is clearly attractive for those looking to pace themselves or stay more ‘drink aware’, we’ve found that being very low calorie has also been a huge draw, and not just with women. Today’s beer-drinking men are counting calories too.
Are there any exciting plans that you have for 2019?
Our first year since launch has really flown by. In that time, the healthier drinking trend has become huge, with UK sales of ‘Low & No’ up 34%. Our aim for 2019 is to grow our brand awareness and routes to market across the UK. It won’t happen overnight and of course Flavourly customers can get Gen!us Craft Lager anywhere, any time! #smartdrinking
Is there anything you want to share with the Flavourly audience?
Flavourly folks are clearly big craft beer fans. While there’s always room in life for a 7% triple-hopped IPA, now they don’t have to go ‘nuclear’ to get a great taste. Offering craft quality but with less alcohol and super-low calories, Gen!us is the perfect craft lager for summer.