Home Brew Becomes Crowd Puller

Recreation and experimentation are endeavours that are probably creative processes but have the capacity to become entrepreneurial and successful. Such was the case for Stanford Shaw, a local brewery engaged in making non-alcoholic beverages such as ginger ale, sparkling water, and butterbeer. Their interests began when the owners stumbled upon their mother’s old recipe book. Through a lengthy experimentation, the owners were able to brew their way to the local scene. 

“[We] continued experimenting and just stuck with it until [we] found something good to market,” Johann See, one of the owners along with his brother Marc, bares. While the alcohol industry is saturated with giant corporations, the brothers decided to take a different route by creating unorthodox beverages and soda-based drinks. Though the concept itself is not Filipino, the ingredients used are all locally sourced. 

The company, as Johann describes it, is a small, local, and independent company. Each product is made from scratch which, of course, takes time and a handful of effort. The production is always in small batches, which results in distinct, exciting, and delicious concoctions. The owners believe that by making drinks that they themselves would seek out and enjoy, they are effectively creating a memorable brand. 

Their breakthrough happened in the popularly rustic Salcedo and Legazpi markets. The reception of consumers was welcoming and supportive, Johann describes. The happiness that was borne from this experience fueled their drive and enabled the owners to pursue the establishment of their own brand. In order to protect their creativity, Stanford Shaw decided to register the brand’s trademark in 2016. 

“We think of trademarking as true ownership over your own brand. We think of it as legitimizing ownership over your brand so that you can protect it, use it and build on it,” Johann says these words of wisdom came from the siblings’ lawyer friend, and it has become their belief ever since. 

“If you see some traction in your product, it is a small price to pay at the start if you are really serious about building a company on top of a brand. Moreover, you feel more confident in investing more into it as well,” Johann adds.

Currently, Stanford Shaw takes pride in their three products. Their Freshly-Brewed Ginger Ale, their flagship, is described as a “balanced combination of ginger kick and citrus zing”. It is a non-alcoholic and refreshing beverage that is especially made for individuals who desire a strong and sweet soda-like kick. On the other hand, the Technical Sparkling Water is specifically created for mixing cocktails; made with fine and long-lasting bubbles to make the perfect drink. One of their special creations, the Butterbeer, is a “subtly spiced non-alcoholic beverage” with butter and caramel notes. 

At first glance, the products of Stanford Shaw are intimidating because of their no-nonsense crisp packaging that invokes a homespun sophistication. However, the drinks are surprisingly beginner-friendly not only because of its non-alcoholic feature but also because of its rather chill nature. The butterbeer is also a creation that can be consumed by children and, most especially, Harry Potter fans. Adults also have a place in the heart of Stanford Shaw by mixing their sparkling water with smooth spirits. 

For Johann and Marc See, their idea and the protection of its attached concepts was a personal and important endeavour. Like all other entrepreneurs, their dreams of going big, like penetrating a larger market and even exporting, is always brewing in the back of their minds. What is now a local and personal venture has the potential to expand later on, and the owners know and realize this. The initiative that they took to protect their intellectual property is one step closer to achieving these dreams. ### (Nastasha Erika Floro, Communications and Marketing Writer)