The Piper Podcast: Jasper Cuppaidge on selling to a brewing giant

In the latest episode of our current podcast series, Jasper Cuppaidge, founder of Camden Town Brewery, talks about the impact of his decision to sell his brand to AB InBev, the world’s biggest drinks company.

Joining AB, I don’t have any regrets. However, it [the day the sale was announced] was one of the worst days in my brewing career,’ reveals Cuppaidge in the latest podcast from Piper’s second season of ‘How I Grew My Brand’ interviews with leading entrepreneurs.

Cuppaidge tells broadcaster Mary Nightingale of his progression from glass collector – ‘my favourite job’ – at his local London pub to opening his own establishment and launching Camden Town Brewery in 2010.

The bold new brand, best known for its Hells Lager, shook up the industry and heralded the start of the UK’s craft beer revolution. It went on to raise £2.75m through crowdfunding to build a new brewery in 2015 and, just months later, was bought by AB InBev in an £85m deal.

Cuppaidge recalls his reaction to social media claims that he’d ‘sold out’ and how the sale led to staff resignations. ‘We seemed to have more leaving parties than welcoming parties for months,’ he says.

But the brand adapted quickly and has continued to flourish. Today it employs 200 staff with turnover exceeding £60m. Cuppaidge, despite no longer being a shareholder, remains heavily involved. ‘My role is now more and more keeping the business honest and mentoring the people who are running it,’ he says. ‘We’re still doing what we were doing four years ago, just even better.’

Cuppaige’s interview is the fourth episode in Season 2 of Piper’s How I Grew My Brand podcasts. Ella Mills, founder of Deliciously Ella, Aron Gelbard, co-founder of Bloom & Wild, and Charlie Bigham, founder of his eponymous gourmet food brand, have also been featured.

In Season 1 of Piper’s How I Grew My Brand podcasts, Cassandra Stavrou, co-founder of Propercorn, Alex Reilley, co-founder of Loungers, Nicola Elliott, co-founder of Neom Organics and Ajith Jayawickrema, founder of Turtle Bay share their stories about growing successful brands.

All the Piper podcasts can be streamed using the link above, or downloaded on Spotify, iTunes or SoundCloud.