57. Drop Bear Beer Co

An award-winning female-founded brewer on a mission to make the best alcohol-free craft beers. Plus, build a better world in which to drink them.

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DEI Award Shortlisted

For the business that can give evidence of a committed diversity, equity, and inclusion initiative and how it has been embedded in the company.

Startups 100: DEI Awards
Exceptional Founder Award Shortlisted

For the entrepreneurs who have turned their own personal struggles or challenges into a force-for-good, leading the way for industry change and innovation.

Startups 100: Exceptional Founder Awards

Founders: Sarah McNena and Joelle Drummond
Founded: 2017
Website: dropbearbeers.com

These days, consumers are more conscious of their personal and the planet’s health. So who wouldn’t be interested in a beer that helps you both moderate your alcohol intake and support social and environmental causes?

Raise a glass to Drop Bear Beer Co. Disrupting a historically male-dominated space, Drop Bear is the world's first all-female and LGBTQ+ founded alcohol-free brewery – not to mention Wales' first B-Corp brewer. 

Drop Beer came about when friends and founders Sarah McNena and Joelle Drummond couldn’t find an accessible, fun, great tasting, purposeful brand to quench their thirst for no/low alcohol beer. 

Disrupting a historically male-dominated space, Drop Bear is the world's first all-female and LGBTQ+ founded alcohol-free brewery.

“We knew we had to do it,” they told Startups. “The taste of our first brew, made in our kitchen in a saucepan, confirmed this to us. It tasted great and we knew we could achieve amazing things with the right resources!”

Cut to the present day and Drop Bear is addressing the ever-growing demand for great tasting pints with purpose, allowing customers to make ethical and sustainable choices whilst sinking a pint.

The company’s biggest challenge, with two young LGBTQ+ female founders, was access to finance. Refusing to take no for an answer, McNena and Drummond defied the odds and ran three extremely successful equity crowdfunding campaigns. Now, the firm has nearly 900 investors including Henry Engelhardt, the billionaire founder of Admiral Insurance. 

More than 20 awards internationally would suggest that Drop Bear Beer also delivers on its taste (rather than waist) low-calorie commitment. Our judges were particularly impressed that Drop Bear drinkers can sip sustainably knowing that the company is certified carbon neutral.

Drop Bear is addressing the ever-growing demand for great tasting pints with purpose, allowing customers to make ethical and sustainable choices whilst sinking a pint.

Currently, 50% of Drop Bear team identify as female and/or LGBTQ+. The startup also funds four survivors of abuse and violence each month via Galop, the LGBTQ+ anti-violence charity.

“Every day we continue to operate, we are proud to stand tall and defy the odds, to bring real diversity and challenge stereotypes in business and brewing,” Drummond and McNena told Startups.

What next for the small but mighty brewers? Drop Bear will be super grizzly if it doesn't become the go-to alcohol free craft beer of choice, not just in the UK, but overseas too. 

Also on the brand’s shopping list includes listings in all major supermarkets and a strong on-trade presence including draught options. Plus, the founders want to get their paws on innovative technologies to reduce the carbon footprint of their beers at production stage.  

If you can’t bear booze and want your beer alcohol-bare, Drop Bear Beer Co is the brand for you.

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