Interview with Rauno Pere, Administration manager of Pyynikki Brewery.

It was windy but sunny October day and I was heading to Pyynikin Brewing Company. I was about to meet Rauno Pere, administration manager of Pyynikki Brewery. I have been always very inspired about Pyynikin Brewing Company. I have closely followed how small microbrewery has grown nationally known brand and yet they have been able to keep original high quality with the beer.

We meet with Rauno Pere at Pyynikki Brewery in his office. We shook hands and Rauno start to share his journey with the company. Rauno was asked to start the company while he was still studying business at Haaga-Helia. “I haven’t felt sorry for not finishing the school. This work has taught me so much and yet I’m learning every day. It’s quite hard to put in words what all I have experienced. This has been biggest school for me.”

Rauno is a founding member of the Pyynikki Brewing Company together with his uncle Tuomas Pere.  It all started with Tuomas hobby with beer and has expanded to what we can now call Pyynikki Brewery. Rauno wasn’t the only one how got involved from family and you can say that Pyynikki Brewing Company started with a family company and has since expanded to over 3000 shareholders.

“We still are family” Rauno says. “Our working culture is very open and supportive. We treat every worker as part of the family. It’s so wonderful to see employee to give so much time and effort to make our products even better.” And good products they really have. Pyynikki has won several highly appreciate prizes, such as World Best Beer award and World Beer Idol in different categories since it has started. Prizes are given beers like Black IPA and Ruby Jazz Ale.

So, what makes Pyynikin Brewing Company appealing for customers and investors. Rauno Pere has clear answer for that. “The product is brilliant and people really love it. We have managed to create very strong brand around our beers. We have put big effort for making the best beers and design of the bottles and customers recognize our products when they see them at shops. For bigger investors our brand is well built and future of the markets looks very promising for our growth. We have a clear vision for how we become even bigger and what needs to be done to keep growing.”

I have always loved their story telling about their products. Pyynikki really manages to tell the story behind the beer and their stories are full of gnomes and Nordic mystic. Pyynikki tell that they have a secret pact with old gnomes who love beer and the gnomes help them to make great beer. They even suggest that there might be some gnomes working as a human disguise at their brewery.

As their brewery expands Rauno tells they are more and more putting effort that all the beer that leaves from brewery has same high standards. “From our point of view it’s very important that we have the same level of quality for every beer shipment we deliver. We have made and will be making at future, big investments to make it so. As we grow, we need more workforce. At this point we have succeeded to get very talented people to work with us and they are very committed to our company.”

But what does the future hold for Pyynikki Brewing Company? “We want to expand our markets to overseas. But we still have troubles to answer the demand from domestic markets. From January to August we could not deliver as much beer to customers as they wanted.” Rauno estimate that they would need to double their production if they want to answer domestic markets demand. For a growing company this is a very positive problem. In autumn 2016 they moved to new bigger business premises and all the time managed to brew beer at the same time.

Even so Rauno has a clear vision for overseas expansion: “I believe that we will launch bigger overseas operations in the next couple of years. We want to make Pyynikki Brewing Company a globally known brand. But for us it’s very important that we stay at Tampere as a brewery. Our roots are here and they are a big part of our brand and culture.”

Pyynikki is also branching out new product and shifting more to be a full-service brewery. They will launch their own gin to be part of selection. There has been also serious planning for sodas and other non-alcoholic products as it’s a growing trend in Finland. Even with these new products Pyynikin Brewing Company’s focus is with beers. It was where it all started and what they really love to do.

As our interview come to the end, I feel even more inspired about the story of Rauno and brewery. They have made beer for over five years and they are committed to growth.  They have overcome big challenges and setbacks. For example, at May 2014 fire caused bad soot damages in brewery and they had to do some big investments to carry on. Still they rose from ashes like a Fenix and after a few years managed to grow to the point where they moved to a bigger factory and are short of supply because of high demand. “When you have big troubles as entrepreneur you either go through them or close down. For us closing down was never an option.”

The story behind the brewery and Rauno is truly one of the inspired one. I’m sure we will see the company growing and expanding their markets. And for those how haven’t tasted their beer, I highly recommend to do so. Cheers for Pyynikin Brewing Company and their ongoing story.

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