Texas Joe Reigns in Dragons

Texas Joe's lean and mean beef jerkyLast night’s episode of Dragons’ Den on BBC was a corker.

We saw a pitch for an “umbrella” for a rotary dryer, an exercise mat that you can wear around your waist and yet another bid for funding for a range of sauces… [at least it wasn’t cupcakes – Ed]

But the best pitch of the night came from Joe Walters, a native Texan living in London, and he was wearing a cowboy hat and a rhinestone suit, accompanied by a bluegrass band singing “Put that jerky in your mouth, mouth, mouth.”…

The best part of the Texan’s pitch was that he already had backing from James Watt of the brilliant craft beer brewers BrewDog who are not only happy to court controversy (There’s no such thing as bad publicity, right?) but make some excellent and interesting beers and they’re pretty canny businesspeople too.

For starters, BrewDog is just six years old and already they claim to be the biggest independent brewer in Scotland. They’ve won numerous awards, their main lines are available on supermarket shelves, their more elaborate concoctions have included “the world’s strongest beer” and they have now opened up a number of bars across the UK.

You’ve got to hand it to them, BrewDog are a great brewer and great business.

So when BrewDog’s cofounder gives a Texan cowboy a letter of intent that is handed to Deborah Meaden, offering to match anything the BBC’s Dragons can offer, you know this original Texan beef jerky is a good idea.

Meat the Premium Bar Snacks

Some years ago, when my favourite pub closed, I ended up adopting a new pub in town where they served a fabulous selection of real ale and a great range of bar snacks. Of all these, biltong was a winner, with dried meat in flavours ranging from original to garlic and chilli beef.

For those of you who may not be familiar, biltong is a South African style of dried meat snack and, in the last few years, there has been an explosion in its poularity.

So for a wickedly branded Texan beef jerky to become BrewDog’s preferred bar snack, you just have to look at the lay of the land;

BrewDog are well regarded amongst beer afficianados and if people are talking about Tactical Nucluear Penguins, you can rest assured they’ll be talking about Texas Joe’s beef jerky. Then there’s the link with the supermarkets; Our own local Hog’s Back Brewery have just one beer, T.E.A. (Traditional English Ale) on the shelves of our local Sainsbury’s for instance, when they do much better brews (OTT for instance) whilst BrewDog, from up in Fraserburgh, have at least three types of bottle on the same shelf.

Then there’s the branding and marketing – just look at that Texas Joe flyer…

Now, if Texas Joe doesn’t become as big a household name in the next few years then I’ll eat my (stetson) hat.

By is4profit’s business editor Paul Mackenzie Ross

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