Wildsip (WS): First of all, we want to say that we love YABBA! It’s so great to finally get a beer that fits into active lifestyles. How did you come up with this idea? Did you personally find that there weren’t many great-tasting, low-calorie beers?
YABBA: Thank you! We’re close friends from university who graduated and headed straight to Australia – where we both lived for a year. Whilst down under, we drank a lot of great low calorie beer like Pure Blonde. We found that these beers were refreshing without compromising on taste/ABV and were well suited to our active lifestyles. When we came back to the UK, all we could find were mainstream equivalents which (in our view) either didn’t taste as good or compromised on strength. This was what led us to start YABBA – we wanted to brew a low calorie beer that didn’t compromise on taste or strength.
WS: Lots of low-calorie alcohols are also low ABV. Why did you decide to make your beer 4% ABV? Was this difficult to do?
YABBA: Our early market research confirmed that people didn’t want to drink low calorie beers if those beers also compromised on strength. Our audience told us that if they wanted reduced alcohol content they would either drink low alcohol beers or not drink at all. We’re seeing lots of moderation in drinking and the low alcohol market is already quite saturated. We have seen an explosion in hard seltzer’s (low calorie) as well, but we haven’t seen the same growth in low calorie beer.
It was difficult to reduce the calorie content whilst keeping ABV high. In the end we landed upon an artisan brewing process, which takes longer but results in a full strength brew without sacrificing body or flavour.
WS: You first started your company during the pandemic! Do you think that this has affected YABBA at all? Do you think it has helped or hindered you?
YABBA: It definitely helped – we never would have had the time or money otherwise. It’s difficult fitting YABBA back in around day jobs now, but thankfully we spent a lot of time mapping out our strategy before launching. Now it’s a case of executing our plans and having a lot of fun whilst doing so! It’s incredible to sit back and see how far it’s come – the support from the SW London community has been phenomenal!
WS: How were you inspired by your time in Australia? Was it a style of beer, the lifestyle, or something else entirely?
YABBA: Low calorie beers fit well with active lifestyles, but it’s more the style of beer that inspired us.
We’re trying to make beer fit better into active lifestyles. I’m personally a massive Seltzer fan, but beer is my drink of choice and the low calorie beer options are very limited. We’re offering an independent, craft option to fill that gap. As an added bonus, customer feedback has shown that generally the beers make you feel less bloated than full calorie equivalents.
WS: We love how you’re a sustainable company, too. Why was this important to you? Did you have any challenges in choosing sustainable packaging or any of your other sustainable practices?
YABBA: We’re determined to prove that small businesses can be a force for good from the beginning. It’s not a responsibility we take lightly.
It’s so much more than just recycling our bottles when you’re done with them. It’s about reviewing our whole supply chain and being honest and transparent about where we could do better.
For example, we haven’t yet found sustainable labels that offer the same waterproofing and print quality as polypropylene. If anybody reading this has any suggestions, please reach out to us!
In terms of making our beer – we carefully selected a partner brewery, which is leading on sustainability (Boss Brewing). They source ingredients locally, recycle water used in the brewing process and donate spent hops to nearby farms for animal feed. Beyond that, we offset approximately 150% of the carbon we emit with Ecologi and use plastic free e-commerce packaging. Our beer is also vegan.
WS: You’ve mastered your first beer – is there a beer that you would like to tackle next? Are there any other projects that you’re working on?
YABBA: We are set on making great lager for now, but we are keeping one eye on the pale ales – particularly those full of juicy hops like citra and mosaic.
In terms of current projects, we are focusing on expanding the places where you can buy YABBA. We have secured listings in five or six shops, cafes and restaurants across London over the last few weeks and we’ve also partnered up with local sports teams.
We’re obsessed with everything that YABBA is doing – from making a low calorie beer to working sustainably with Boss Brewing and Ecologi. If you’d like to try their beer for yourself, head to their page!