The Piano Works is looking to shake up the London pub and night scene as much as Hofmeister Helles is the premium imported lager market in the UK. Its offer is straightforward enough. Quality live music available throughout its opening hours. The chance for its customers to choose from a quality and diverse range of beers and enjoy live music, some of which they can ask for themselves from the live pianists. Here operations director, Tristan Moffat, explains why he was so keen to have Hofmeister Helles as part of its offer.
Do you remember Hofmeister from the first time around?
Sadly not but I enjoy it all the same now.
What did you think when you heard about the revitalised Hofmeister and bringing it back as an authentic Helles lager?
I really like the brand and in particular the values it stands for. It’s all about making quality lager made with time, care and love!
What specifically made you want to give it a go in your business?
I felt that our businesses were in the same place in their life cycles. As we are both starting out I felt our missions were the same. Namely to deliver and produce an outstanding product that stands out and is differentiated in heavily saturated and dominated markets in our respective sectors.
In Hofmeister’s case the big players in the beer industry, or in our case, the big players in the late night and casual dining sectors.
How do you feel Hofmesiter Helles lager tastes compared to other premium imported lagers?
Hofmeister Helles as a product is exceptional and in my view is streets ahead of most of their competitors in the premium imported lager category. This is due to the team of experts behind the brew and Richard and Spencer’s passion to deliver excellence in a bottle.
What has been the response of your customers?
Hofmeister came in and very quickly became our second best selling beer beating Budvar to second place. What was particularly important was two of the founders, Richard (Longhurst) and Spencer (Chambers) came in and shared their passion for their product with my team. They, in turn, have become passionate about supporting their brand and product which they all agreed was exceptional.
What aspects of it do they like?
Put simply it’s the fact that it is a Bavarian Helles lager and it has such an interesting but not overpowering palate which can, in my opinion, be the case with some German beers. This beer is perfectly balanced and interesting.
Is the fact the new Hofmeister is a Bavarian Helles Lager help bring some new innovation to the lager offer?
One hundred per cent. It is like nothing else in our offer and I think is really differentiated in the UK beer market.
Does it work best for you by bottle or by draught?
We only sell it in bottle at the moment, but we are keen to look at draught for future venues.
Would you like to see more beers developed by the Hofmeister Brewing Company?
I would like to see their existing product grow in popularity and market share before expanding the range. This product is excellent and should remain the focus for the team until it is in pole position in the UK beer market where it belongs.
How are your beer and lager sales overall?
Beer and lager sales remain strong with people craving craft and differentiated beers which is why Hofmeister works so well for us. Gin and rum remain the strongest spirit categories in grown along with these beers.
- Tristan Moffat is operations at the The Piano Works on Farringdon Road, London, EC1R 3BX.