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Advice, mentoring and case studies

The Wolfhound Brewing Company

The Wolfhound Brewing Company

When Oliver Peel and Mickey Lynch saw the success of a friend’s fledgling catering company, the pair decided to turn a shared interest into a business and begin brewing their own craft beer.

Oliver, currently in his final year of a MEng in Electronic Engineering at the University of Leeds, had previously run his own printing business and Mickey, a Leeds Metropolitan University graduate, works as a barman and brewer for Leeds Brewery Tap. Pooling their skills and experience, the pair devised recipes for their own beers and developed the strong brand image that new craft beers need to stand out in a crowded market. Filled with energy and ideas for their venture but needing to develop a robust business strategy, a friend suggested that they approach the University of Leeds’ business start-up service, Spark.

Kairen and Richard at Spark have helped us every step of the way so far. They have given us a great deal of support, including essential funding via the Proof of Concept fund and an Enterprise Scholarship. They pushed us to think seriously about the business, and Spark's weekly workshops on different business topics have been massively informative.

The craft beer industry originated in the US and has really taken off in the UK in recent years. 

In Yorkshire, the craft beer movement is growing all the time; and it is very much a community that is happy to share its secrets.

This was borne out when Oliver and Mickey were invited to the RW Randall brewery in Guernsey by Robert Barnes – a University of Leeds Enterprise Ambassador and brewery chairman - to gain some valuable industry insights.

The pair already has meetings planned with potential investors but, whatever happens, they believe they have the skills and passion to move the business forward, as Oliver explains:

We are doing what we love and creating a range of beers both classic and modernised in the American craft beer style. With the support we have received from Spark and the contacts we have made from networking - both with Spark and within the craft beer community - we know that we can make the business a success.

Adds Mickey:

Our Irish Wolfhound branding is bold and strong; new beers need that distinctive identity. We understand the industry and, thanks to Spark, we also understand how to create a viable business.