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Alumni beer business expands online sales with Covid-19 Startup Support Grant

Alumni beer business expands online sales with Covid-19 Startup Support Grant

Jubel Beer, a unique beer business which is run by Exeter student Jesse Wilson, has successfully increased online sales and digital marketing activity thanks to funding from Santander Universities UK.

Jesse and fellow student Tom Jordan were inspired to launch Jubel Beer after visiting the Alps on a university ski trip and discovering a French demi-pèche beer tradition which produced a fruity yet crisp lager. After carrying out some market research, they learnt that this style of beer was not available in the UK.

Alongside working for Mars as a graduate, Jesse learnt how to brew in his spare time and took batches of his brews to beer and music festivals. Following a positive reception at the festivals, and with financial support from Exeter Student Startups, Jubel Beer was launched in April 2018. The business is now led by Jesse full-time, and is made up of a team of nine, three of which are Exeter alumni.

Three quarters of Jubel’s business came from selling to pubs, so when all pubs and restaurants were closed due to Covid-19, Jesse and the team knew they would have to move the majority of their business online.

The COVID-19 Startup Support grant enabled Jubel to increase social media advertising to target specific audiences, including gluten-free and vegan consumers, and increase online sales. Jubel are now selling approximately 10,000 bottles online a week (compared to 300 a week before the pandemic), and are seeing around 150 new online customers a week.

Jesse said: "Consumer habits have shifted from drinking beer in pubs, bars and restaurants to at-home, and the grant from Santander is a huge help to increase our digital marketing activity to reach new consumers and drive our D2C business".

Since the early development stage, Jubel have received ongoing support from Santander Universities UK who previously funded a group of Exeter students to work as sales interns at Jubel during the summer, which was enjoyable for the students and very beneficial to the business. Jubel remains connected to the Exeter Student Startups team who continue to provide support to their alumni community.

Jesse said: “Selling to pubs is the heart of our business, so we will return to this as soon as it is safe to do so. In the long-term we would like to continue to scale up our business and expand our on-trade distribution so that we can get more pints to more people”.

You can find out more about Jubel Beer on their website.

For more information about the COVID-19 Startup Support Fund and details on how to apply, please contact Emily Davies (SETsquared Exeter Student Startup Manager) at e.c.e.davies@exeter.ac.uk.

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