Brainfood 4 Startups with Philip Bucher (Chopfab / Dopelleu Founder)

Written By Mara Ricci

On Thursday, December 7th, another Brainfood 4 Startups event took place at Swiss Startup Factory. We organize the event in the factory and around 60 curious people attend on a regular basis. With the brainfood events, the Swiss Startup Factory wants to bring different perspectives on entrepreneurship to the audience.

Not every entrepreneur follows the regular, conventional path in their career. There are always obstacles that they have to overcome, whether there are smaller or bigger problems. To inspire our young entrepreneurs, we ask founders, journalists, professors from a variety of fields to talk about a specific topic. This can be on politics, work-life balance or about their opinion on something that’s going on in the world. Through someone else’s point of view your own horizon expands and we hope that we can deliver “brainfood” that pushes our startups further and inspire other people to start their entrepreneurial journey.

The evening was all about the topic “Build a business from scratch at your own risk”.

To start off the “brainfood”, Chris Bargholz, COO of the Swiss Startup Factory held a short intro speech, explaining to new guests what the core business of the SSUF is all about. After that, he announced main speaker Philip Bucher, CEO of the Chopfab/Dopelleu brewery. With its top-fermented beers, the Doppelleu brewing workshop seeped into a niche in September 2012 and has made a real impact. With Chopfab and an impressive marketing concept, they have become known nationwide at record speed. In Winterthur, Doppelleu only expanded last year and with its 24 new tanks on the Pan-Gas-Areal tripled its production capacity from 5’000 to 15’000 and now up to 35’000 hectoliters. The number of full-time jobs has increased from 26 to 35 since 2016. This year Doppelleu teamed up with Bière du Boxer from Yverdon. Bucher talked about how they founded Dopelleu – the idea came up  during his time in the corporate world, travelling around the globe. Every country had its special beers, except when he had guests here in Switzerland, the beer selection was quite limited. With his co-founder, Jörg Schönberg, he founded the company in this niche market. It turned out to be a full success. During the Q&A session, the audience had a lot of questions. One of them was for example, how Chopfab approached the big resellers? Bucher had to laugh and explained that Globus was the first that made a request shortly after founding, even though they didn’t know how the beer tasted. You ask yourself why they wanted it anyway? Because Globus only sells products that have a great design. And with the outstanding black/white bottles and cans of the Chopfab beers, that aspect was guaranteed. How they found the name “Chopfab”: It’s clearly a Swiss German name, and it’s both bold and memorable. It symbolizes with the CH the Swiss quality standard and at the same time the moment after a hard day of work when it’s finally time to “behead” a beer.

To close off the inspirational evening, the Swiss Startup Factory arranged an apéro with beer tasting, to try the delicious Chopfab beers. It was a great opportunity to network with each other and ask Philip Bucher all the questions about running a brewery and being an entrepreneur at own risk. We can’t wait for the next Brainfood 4 Startups Event that is planned in Q1 2018.