Meet JK, co-founder of Big Drop Brewing Co
Driven by individual lifestyle changes and frustration at lack of decent options, founders Rob Fink and James Kindred decided to launch Big Drop Brewing Co in 2016. Big Drop is a range of non-alcoholic beers crafted without the need for artificial removal of alcohol. We sat down with James (JK) to learn more about him and Big Drop.
CZ: Give us some background on yourself.
JK: I was a graphic designer and art director at agencies for around 20 years and also ventured into SASS technology for a few years as a founder and developer. Nowadays, my primary focus is on Big Drop. I live in Ipswich with my wife, Emma, two daughters, Eva & Nola and two crazy black labs Buddy & Moose.
CZ: Why alcohol free beer?
JK: Necessity! Back in 2016, before Big Drop, Rob and I had our own businesses, young families and very little time to catch a breath. We both loved beer, but hated how much the full-strength offerings where less of a great idea with such hectic lifestyles. So, Big Drop was born!
CZ: Do you still drink alcohol sometimes?
JK: I don’t drink full-strength beer any more. I gave up drinking completely at the beginning of 2021 and did 200+ days without any booze. Now and again I’ll have a glass of whisky or a cider, but with the beers, Big Drop gives me everything I need.
CZ: What were the benefits you gained from lowering your alcohol intake?
JK: In short, I’ve lost a load of weight and gained focus and a much better mood! Lowering my intake has really benefitted my mental health and the quality time I spend with the family - and I’m still drinking brilliant beer!
CZ: How do you see non alcoholic beers fitting into peoples lives?
JK: At Big Drop, we try not to be prescriptive with how people should, or should not drink. But speaking personally I know that once I’d introduced a great AF option into my life it opened up so many more opportunities for getting things done and making the most of my time with the family and the time for thinking about how to grow the brand and deliver exciting packaging and design ideas.
CZ: Aside from Big Drop, what are your favourite non alc craft beers?
JK: Adnams’ Ghost Ship is my backup NA when there’s no Big Drop available. Fergus and his brew team know their stuff and the non-alc version of their Ghost Ship is always close by in Suffolk pubs.
CZ: When are you enjoying a non alc beer (what occasions)
JK: When aren’t I! Our weekends and weekday evenings are always busy with clubs, dog walks and getting dinner ready. There’s also always parties and social activities at weekends that need Dad Taxi standing by. Having a cold Paradiso in the fridge on standby is a real treat!