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Meet Geoffrey Pedder of ZēLUS Beer in Medfield

Today we’d like to introduce you to Geoffrey Pedder.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
The goal behind ZēLUS Beer was to brew a beer for athletes, and more generally for those who enjoy an active lifestyle. Beer, especially craft beer, is enjoying huge popularity at the moment. I really wanted to bring an active lifestyle and beer together like it has not been before. Beer is enjoyed after exercise, and after races, often as a reward for the physical effort. I have experienced this myself having competed in many races. Jon Goldstein, a Ph.D. chemist and home brewer, and I took a look at brewing beer from a scientific angle and considered what we could do with the process. What we did and what we do now is carefully identify beer styles, develop recipes, adjust water profiles with brewing salts, and keep alcohol content low to produce hydration-friendly, flavorful, beer. When we realized we might have something unique in our brewing process and products we applied for a patent. The name Zelus, the Greek spirit of competition and rivalry, was chosen to represent the brand.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
To be honest I do not think starting your own business is easy. It requires a lot of persistence and belief in what you are doing. I realized early on that our concept was strong, which has helped. Access to capital is always a challenge for start-up businesses. Although, money is not the only hurdle. To start a consumer product business you need a brand name, a trademark for it, and in our case a location and a bunch of licenses. The list goes on and on. Our biggest single challenge has been navigating the legal side of the beer industry – be it waiting for licenses or applying for label approvals. Ultimately it takes work and people who are willing and able to help along the way. I have met so many good people since I started the business – bar owners, race organizers, liquor store employees. There is a lot of generosity in people. I am from the UK originally and I constantly think the US is a great place to start a business.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about ZēLUS Beer – what should we know?
We are a craft beer company operating in eastern Massachusetts. We develop our own beer recipes and distribute our own product. We are currently in over 110 accounts – bars, restaurants and liquor stores – predominantly in MetroWest although we also have accounts as far north as Ipswich and Salem as well as far south as Hingham. We sponsor and support races and events in the Boston area. In October alone we were involved in 5 separate running races – Paddy’s Road Race in Newton, the Sakti Tri in Salem, the Ashland Half Marathon, the Powisset Farm Trail Run in Dover and Bill’s 5k in Newton. We sell and market beer crafted for your active lifestyle, this sets us apart from our competition. I am most proud of getting the beer into the market and having the beer sell through and getting re-orders – this means that customers are enjoying our product.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
The qualities that I feel are most important to success in starting a business are confidence and persistence. Somethings have broken our way, some things have not. Somethings can look difficult one moment and then open up the next. I think that providing your business model and concept are sound, you can be successful by staying confident and staying the course.

Pricing:

  • 4-Pack of 16 oz Cans – $11.49 to $12.99
  • 4-Pack of 12 oz Bottles – $9.99 to $12.99

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: BostonVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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