About Time You Met: Greg Bateman, Founder of People’s CaptainBy Angelica Malin
People’s Captain is changing the game when it comes to craft beer. Founded by professional rugby player, Greg Bateman, currently playing for the Newport Gwent Dragons, the independent company is centred on an ethos of bringing people together over a great selection of craft brews. We chatted to Greg about the idea behind the beer brand, his favourite from the range, and what’s next:
Tell us about People’s Captain?
We exist to make the social catch-ups with our mates count. After my darkest times, having a beer with my best mate probably saved my life and got me on the path to finding the support I needed. We want to create communities and offer discovery into the craft beer category while supporting the People’s Captain Foundation – where we raise money for mental initiatives in the UK that encourage positive action.
Where can we get People’s Captain?
You can order via our website.
What made you want to launch a drinks brand?
As mentioned, I needed to talk to someone – and for me and most people we need to do it over something, a beer, a coffee, dinner whatever it is. I think it’s an inherent part of our British culture; it seems if the thing we’re gathering around has a bigger purpose maybe that’s a way to start a conversation?
Do you have a favourite in the range?
Ha, this always makes me laugh because it feels like choosing a favourite child, I love them all but for totally different reasons! I love how our lager isn’t like other lagers and represents diversity, and I love how our stout turns traditional stouts on its head.
We love the designs on the cans, where did they come from?
Nathan Bowen, a very cool street artist does all of our artwork exclusively. I walked past an early version of what is now – the Islander character in Hackney high street – when I was thinking up the recipe and it just hit me in the chest with this question, ‘are you inspired?’. So I found him on Instagram and the rest is history.
Tell us a bit more about the charity behind it and what you are up to?
I’m passionate about taking action. Whilst raising awareness is no doubt important – the ability to act and do something about how you’re feeling or what’s going on is so important to me. Whilst the business is a corporate entity I wanted us to support initiatives that exist currently. Right now we’re supporting Samaritans & Young Minds – both of which have been affected hugely by the pandemic and we’ll add to this – including our own services as we go.
Do you have any tips for someone struggling with their own mental health?
Other than building yourself a solid support network around you that you support each other with. This is an important question not to answer. Because there’s lots of ‘advice’ out there from people who aren’t qualified. I will however share a summary of quotes I find particularly helpful by 2 authors I admire.
“Depression is looking back in regret, anxiety is looking forward with fear” – Rob Bell
“Self-awareness is wasted if it doesn’t eventually end in self acceptance” – Mark Manson
Otherwise, there are professional services out there, talking, having people to talk to and listen is super important.
What’s in the pipeline, can we expect more beers?
YEAH! Definitely more amazing beers and other products to ease social connectivity. I guess more importantly than that, my team and I are constantly trying to think about how we can take our very different view of catching up with a mate count, to the next level. We’re also of course at some trade shows over the summer which will be good fun too.
Who inspires you?
So many people, I would consider myself an incredibly curious individual so if it’s Rob Bell with levels of human consciousness or a conversation with some of my team mates where I reflect on those high-performance conversations. Inspiration is literally all around me.
Do you have any advice for anyone considering creating their own drinks range?
Go for it, but know why you’re doing it.
For more information on People’s Captain, see here.