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Beer discovery club Draught Drop a boost for indie breweries

Beer discovery club Draught Drop is helping Londoners sample fabulous beer from the capital’s best breweries.

The business is run by a husband-and-wife team Tom Struthers and Mell Lykourina Struthers and you’d be hard-pushed to find a couple with more knowledge and passion for craft beer.

The Local Buyers Club spent some time chatting to Mell - a former beer buyer for Ocado and Sainsbury’s and a former employee of Brewdog and The Bottle Club.

She said: “Tom had always loved craft beer and, while I started off not knowing much about it, my career meant I learnt quickly. We live in Walthamstow and there are so many great breweries nearby – we wanted to find a way to share our love of craft beer with others!

“When we had our daughter, two and a half years ago it spurred us on because we couldn’t go out and missed having draught beer. So, the idea for Draught Drop was born!”

Keen to reduce carbon emissions, Draught Drop delivers beer in reusable glass growlers, which are washed, sterilised and refilled. Customers can order a one-off delivery or sign up for a weekly subscription – to be dropped at the door milkman-style by ZED (a zero-emission delivery service). Local Buyers Club members receive a free trial howler.

Draught Drop was launched in April 2020. The start-up now employs two more members of staff through the government’s Kickstart scheme.

Mell, 34, added: “We’ve done everything ourselves – from the branding and packaging to the marketing. It has been challenging but exciting. Running your own business is all consuming!”

Customers can choose to have Draught Drop’s recommended beers or, if there’s one they’re not so keen on, can ask for a swap. The company now works with around 18 independent local breweries and, as they expand to other parts of the capital, they hope to partner up with breweries in new areas.

“The breweries we work with are all fantastic” said Mell. “They all offer quality beers. We provide customers with tasting notes via the website and on social media channels and we hear customers have a lot of fun tasting! Hopefully the breweries go on to make good sales through our recommendations.”

Tom and Mell met while studying chemistry at Nottingham University. They are passionate about learning about beer and the industry and have both gained qualifications as Cicerone certified beer servers.

She added: “I’m a real foodie and am really interested in flavours – having a science background really helps. I really like hoppy IPAs and pale ales – I love juicy flavours like grapefruit and apricots and stone fruits. That’s my style but we try to give a balance of different styles each week to give people variety.

The Local Buyers Club is expanding in Walthamstow - among the local companies offering savings and perks to members are Draught Drop, Pillars Brewery, St J's, Forest Wines, East London Baby Co, Saw Chocolate, Honey & Thyme, Greener Habits, Buns, Local Honey Man, Peeld, Word Store, DabbaDrop, and Victory London Distillery.

What is the Local Buyers Club?

We're on a mission to help you discover & support the best independent businesses in London.

Members benefit from savings and perks at hundreds of fantastic restaurants, shops, bars and businesses throughout London. We help promote them and raise awareness of the advantages of shopping locally. We also organise and support community initiatives. We're more than just a discount card - we're London's shop-local club, helping you discover and support fabulous independent businesses.

Join Local Buyers Club and, for just £12 per year, you'll be helping to support local business and you'll receive a discount card to use at any of the hundreds of businesses listed on the site.


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