Craft beer has become something of a global phenomenon, but Orbit Brewing, which we’re proud to feature as our Client of the Month for February, has taken brewing beyond commerce, beyond craftsmanship, towards something akin to an art form. With a commitment to ‘hi fidelity’ production, a passion for deep, authentic flavours and a brand inspired by music, here’s how Orbit Brewing is wooing the Great British public with its own liquid harmonies.
Inspired by ‘Raw Spirit’, Iain Banks’ account of his tour of Scotland’s whisky distilleries, the founder of Orbit Brewing, Robert Middleton, packed his belongings into his trusty old Dutch campervan and set off to tour Scotland’s lesser-known alcohol-producing gems – its breweries.
Robert wrote his own account of his voyage of liquid discovery, which became “The Tea Leaf Paradox: Discovering Beer in the Land of Whisky”. But perhaps more importantly, Robert also developed a deep love of high quality craft beer, a strong attachment to the brewing industry, and a bright idea. Orbit Brewing was born.
From idea to reality
Or rather, the idea for Orbit Brewing was born. The actual brewery would take many, many months of intensive planning, organisation, hoop-jumping and hard work to create…but the end result – the total transformation of a railway arch in South East London into a fully functioning brewery with its own distinctive brand and range of music-inspired beers – was worth the work.
Marketing, face to face
Of course, producing the beer was only the beginning. As the new Orbit Beer bottles began to fill with pale ale, altbier and Köln-style lager, Robert and his small team began reaching out to the finest pubs, bars and restaurants across London, forging relationships one-by-one and face to face in order to secure spots as their ‘guest beer’.
Social media has also played an increasingly important role in the company’s success, and Orbit Brewing plans to ramp up its social media efforts this year as its audience of passionate beer enthusiasts continues to grow. Also on the company’s marketing plan for 2016 are more events, markets and festivals, where Orbit can introduce a wider beer-loving audience to what they’ve been missing. Collaborations with other breweries and the installation of permanent Orbit Beer lines in pubs across the capital are also on the cards, and the company plans to expand its recently launched White Label Series, which brings a new level of creative experimentation to beer brewing.
It’s been one heck of a ride for Robert Middleton and Orbit Brewing, and they’re only getting started. Orbit Brewing’s beer is often described as ‘hi-fidelity’ – a hat tip to Robert’s passion for music, but also a recognition that Orbit’s beers prioritise quality over mass production, and craft over commerce. As Robert points out, Orbit Brewing is, first and foremost, “about the love of beer”.
Hi-fidelity means Orbit Beers are unfiltered and unpasteurised. It means flavour trumps shelf-life. The company’s commitment to hi-fidelity production, and Robert’s obvious love of beer, should ensure the company will grow in leaps and bounds in the years ahead. And Accounts and Legal will be right there beside them, doing everything we can to help them grow. As Robert pointed out: "It's not just knowing your own particular products that matters, it's also understanding how a business works, pulling together all the numbers, invoicing the clients - those are the areas we get a lot of support from Accounts and Legal on so that we can focus on getting the beer right".