As Euroboozer turns 17, founder Martyn is reminded of how it all started, and the beer it all started with. We still import Hirter Privat Pils to this day, and as it happens we've just landed some fresh samples of Keller Meister, Morchl, 1270 & Märzen... (Drop us a line if you'd be interested, we'll be bringing some over on our next European Pre Order). Read on to hear about Martyn's first forays into importing & selling beer...
Martyn wrote this as London came out of Lockdown at the start of the month... Admittedly it's aged in less than three weeks, but as it is 17 years ago this week that he started Euroboozer we wanted to share it anyway.
I got sent this video & it's fantastic. Not just because it sums up how I felt on Wednesday...
But, by complete coincidence, 17 years ago, as a very young 22 year old, I landed my first batch of samples of this very same, & very fine, Hirter Bier. Following a year's worth of planning Euroboozer I started trying to sell beer... in December 🍻
A complete novice with my only work experience a short stint as an office administrator, I put 20 sample bottles in my coolbag & tried to convince incredibly experienced operators that they didn't need the £20-£30k that Budweiser were paying for the top shelf of their fridge. Instead they should stock this very expensive & relatively unknown Austrian Pils because it was the best thing they'd ever tasted, as well as it being independent and family owned, steeped in history having been established in 1270 & brewed with Alpine Springwater!
They couldn't even read the label, never mind the challenge that most had never experienced beer aside from mass produced macro lager before. The most exotic beer some operators had heard of at that point was Hoegaarden!
Needless to say, I often wasn't met with the best response, but I didn't leave London until I'd managed to hand out my 20 sample bottles.
I walked for miles each day, armed only with an AtoZ & a Time Out London Pubs & Bar guide. Carrying on literally through wind, rain & snow, once I even broke a ring on my finger because I'd carried my hefty cool bag so much... my shoulders became massive, my skin even harder.
Eventually I upgraded my coolbag to one with wheels (after a couple of years when I could afford it & my bank card wasn't getting declined in the supermarket), I persevered, kept visiting, kept coming back to people who were kindly fobbing me off, adapted, brought on more beers... and just kept on persevering.
It was incredibly hard back then... It still is, and even more so than ever this year!
However, I'm proud to say you can still enjoy one of these fine beers in the UK today. So hopefully you will find one of them, or another independent beer and help support the pubs, bars, hospitality venues and independent businesses we all love!
Next year Euroboozer will be old enough to drink! Hopefully we'll be able to share a Hirter or two with you in person.