Brands must find more articulate definition than ‘craft’

11th November, 2019 by Melita Kiely

Using the term ‘craft’ is “inarticulate and lazy”, and spirits producers should find better ways of communicating what their brands are about, the founder of East London Liquor Company (ELLC) has said.


Alex Wolpert (far left) founded ELLC in 2014

Speaking to The Spirits Business last month, Alex Wolpert, founder of ELLC, said the distillery does not consider itself to be a ‘craft’ producer, although many might place the firm under the ‘craft spirits’ umbrella.

“We’ve always prided ourselves in debunking that ‘craft’ myth that’s perpetuated by other producers,” said Wolpert. “I can’t define it; I’m not sure it’s ever really meant anything.

“I think it’s used commercially to justify a look and price point that I don’t agree with. My feeling is that craft is not something we should be striving to articulate or define because by definition it’s indefinable.

“What we strive for does mistakenly get boiled down to the ‘c’ word, but I think there’s a more articulate, better way of defining what you do than using the word ‘craft’

“Ultimately, it’s inarticulate and lazy, and we in business should be better at talking about what we mean and quantifying what we mean.”

Last year, ELLC closed its crowdfunding campaign early after raising £1.5 million (US$2m) in 30 days, after exceeding its initial £750,000 (US$1.03m) target in just 24 hours.

Soon after, the company secured its first listing with major retailer, Waitrose.

In September this year, ELLC revealed three new bottlings, including the “first” single malt from east London and a new rye whisky.

Last month, ELLC unveiled a UK-wide deal with Majestic Wine making its products available nationwide for the first time.

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