With a keen eye for an opportunity, a lot of hard work and some business support and advice from WK, champion brewer Soren Eriksen has turned his passion for craft beer into a thriving business.
Soren and his wife Monique started 8 Wired Brewing Co in Marlborough in 2009, with the romantic dream of brewing beer in a relaxed beach-side location in New Zealand.
But with very little experience and the New Zealand economy in the midst of the global financial crisis, starting out in business presented many challenges.
This led to Soren leasing space at Renaissance Brewing Company in Marlborough, where he worked, gaining commercial brewing experience.
Pretty soon demand for both companies’ brews was outstripping capacity, and Soren approached WK looking for sustainable options to expand 8 Wired’s operations.
WK director Vaughan Harris says they explored several options to develop and fund what was a burgeoning industry.
“New Zealand’s beer scene was changing: people were drinking less on the whole, but willing to spend more on quality brews,” Vaughan says.
“With 8 Wired picking up Champion Brewery at the Brewers’ Guild Awards in 2011, we were able to present a pretty solid business case to the banks, and found an ally in ANZ Bank.”
New Zealand’s craft brewing scene had exploded and this presented great opportunities, but brought with it many challenges, not least of which the nationwide strain on brewing capacity.
Establishing their own brewery meant a shift from Marlborough to Warkworth, north of Auckland, which made sense for the business in terms of distribution and access to international markets, Vaughan says.
“To get them across the line with funding and into the position where they could get their capacity issues sorted and provide for future growth while retaining sole ownership is a huge result.”
Soren says WK has been a crucial part of growing the business.
“Vaughan has been on board since we brewed our very first batch of beer, so he knows our company really well and the service has always been great.”
8 Wired has been using Xero since inception, meaning the distance hasn’t impacted their business partnership, Soren says.
“WK has been the best company to work with as an external business advisor, and the geographical distance hasn’t been an issue, so we haven’t felt the need to change accounting firms at all.”
With the growth of Soren and Monique’s business and their young family, WK helps ease time constraints by providing payables, payroll and secretarial services to supplement the general accounting and business advisory.
From humble beginnings, through the breakthrough in 2011 and now a fantastic new facility in Warkworth, Soren and Monique have been at the forefront of the craft beer revolution in New Zealand.
“8 Wired has been a real success story so far and one we’re very proud to
have been a part of,” says Vaughan. Cheers!