The name Lost & Grounded certainly had us pondering with inspiration – our take was that to truly be sentient in the world, one (if they are learning things) constantly oscillates between feeling lost and grounded. Have one of you studied philosophy and/or are constantly lost and/or grounded? The name is a bit philosophical, and comes from the months prior to starting the brewery where we (Alex and his partner in life and business, Annie) thought a lot about how we wanted our new company to be. The name comes from us travelling through life – together we lived in Tasmania, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Brussels, Perth, Melbourne, London and now Bristol!?! The “grounded” part of the name is someone that is sensible and knows what is important – for us this meant to finally stop and make our own business, and forge a future for ourselves and our team. We’ve tried to keep this same philosophy (remembering what is important) in everything we do, whether it be the brewing process, branding, team, etc.
What’s the background of the team that founded L&G? Be it related to beer, music, sport, art or country of origin?
I’ve been a brewer for many years, including Little Creatures where I was Head of Brewing during the times they set up the new brewhouse in Fremantle and expanded to the East coast. I also spent time working in Belgium and Germany, and now in the UK, initially working for Camden Town Brewery, but for the past few years doing Lost and Grounded.
Annie is originally from Tasmania and was a social trainer in Australia, working alongside people with a range of disabilities such as Acquired Brain Injuries. She is interested in beer, and has a big interest in creative industries – literature, art, fashion, music. Annie is the co-founder and creative mind behind Lost and Grounded’s branding, events and communications.
What’s unique about each of your four products – Keller Pils, Hop-Hand Fallacy, Running with Sceptre & All The Cool Cats? Firstly, three out of these four beers are lagers (Keller Pils, Running with Sceptres and All the Cool Cats), which is vastly different to the offering from many small brewers. As a brewery we produce around 80% lager with Keller Pils being our flagship – it is the majority of what we brew, why we set the brewery up, and is difficult to make with consistency which means we need to have amazing attention to detail.
We noticed that 3 of the cans are of quite similar design and 1 appears to be completely designed for Instagram as its covered with cats. Can you tell us about the concept and artist behind your product design? The three illustrated cans form part of our core range of six beers, and were developed with Annie and a local illustrator, Alexia Tucker. Each of these beers have a specific story to them, and in fact all of the artwork for our core beers lines up into one big panoramic image, with each being like a chapter in the story of Lost and Grounded Brewers.
All the Cool Cats is part of our limited release range which Annie develops with our graphic designer (Sammy Davis), and these change throughout the year (although we’ve now brewed this specific beer every few months due to popularity!). Each of our limited beers takes a different turn to keep creative and keep imaginations working. The All the Cool Cats label was actually produced using photos of the Lost and Grounded team’s cats, as well as the cats of a few good friends. The cat front and centre is Viktor who lives with our Australian friends in Berlin, and we have a couple of our cats on there which made the journey all the way from Australia to the UK with us!
What’s unique about the brewing process that you can share in relation to these products? The most unique thing about our process is that we have our own natural acidification plant in the brewhouse – this is a traditional German method for adjusting the pH in the process. Living in this tank is a strain of lactic acid bacteria which has come from the husk of malt – akin to a sourdough culture, we keep it warm, keep it fed once a week with fresh wort, and in return it keeps making natural acid for us to use in the process. This helps give our beers a fresh zing and soft palate.
It’s our humble opinion that as avid critical observers of rock n’ roll songwriting, a band needs to have at least one great songwriter. We cannot help but (in our limited observance) apply this to brewing – who is your Kevin Parker? For sure our equivalent is Annie. I’m a brewer and am inclined to retreat into the comfort of our pipes and tanks and keep on focusing on simply making beer. Annie pushes us to be brave and creative, continually thinking of new big events to hold at the brewery, new beers to make and new directions for the branding of our limited release beers. One example is our recent recent “Winter Beer Blowout” which is held annually in November at the brewery. Two bars, live lighting show with psychedelic projections, DJs and food – amazing! (we also raised over £1000 for a local homeless charity which was also very cool!)