The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Forbidden Cider thrives from adversity

Image - Forbidden Cider“When life served Alan Spinks lemons, instead of making lemonade he brewed cider.

A diagnosis of life-threatening laryngeal cancer followed by a total laryngectomy spelled the end of his career as a professional speaker and political adviser. Auckland cider firm Forbidden Brewing Co began as a project to help him take his mind off his treatment and spend time with his son, Jordan.

But 2 1/2 years down the track Spinks is on the mend and the company’s crushed apple brew has blossomed into a rapidly growing business with a turnover of $800,000 forecast for next year.

“At first, setting up the cider company helped me with my recovery because it kept me focused on something. I was registering for GST while I was having my radiotherapy,” Spinks said. “We made small batches at the start and people really liked it, and it grew from there.”

Forbidden Brewing has caught the eye of Ora, a new SME online tools business and “growth community”. Last month Ora awarded the firm a $50,000 Ora Dreams grant for business services and marketing tools. Ora is the latest venture of technology entrepreneur and former head of Localist Christina Domecq. Forbidden Brewing was selected alongside safety supply store Terrain, and Wellington web agency Little Monkey, as one of three inaugural grant recipients.

The cidery stood out from the 150 applicants because of its clever branding and rapid growth, Domecq said. “The father/son duo at Forbidden is amazing with their energy, their passion and their drive. What they have achieved with very little funding to date has been amazing,” she said.

“They’ve come up with a really quirky consumer brand, with a lot of different flavours. They haven’t attacked [the cider market] from a ‘wholesome goodness from your local brewery angle’, they’ve attacked it more from a fun perspective and we really like that.”

Source: Stuff ( )