Hannah Rhodes banner image.

Talk Straight | Think Smart with Hannah Rhodes

Talk Straight | Think Smart with Hannah Rhodes

How did a beekeeping experience on the top of Tate Britain lead to a new business? With experience and passion for beer, and a new found interest in bees, Hannah Rhodes came up with an idea to bring them together.
Quote mark icon

What's infectious about a small business is when you work hard and have an idea you can run with it and make it happen.

Hannah Rhodes, Founder, Hiver

Hannah has always been passionate about understanding where produce and raw ingredients come from. So when she started her own business, Hiver Beer, it was an un[bee]lievable process.

In this podcast episode Hannah tells us about the experiences that led to creating the first beer that used honey in the fermentation process. And as a result starting Hiver Beer.

After university, Hannah fell into a job at a brewery. It was here that she was given the opportunity to get creative with beer, and get really hands on with the raw ingredients that went into it. So that was where her passion for beer came from. But what about the bees?

Having gone along to a honey tasting experience, Hannah became fascinated with bees and wanted to learn more about beekeeping. She was in luck, a few weeks later she was called in to help with some hives on the top of the Tate Britain. And that's how the idea to bring honey and beer came together.

After a few trial brews Hannah successfully got the "idea to liquid". Hiver has grown from a stall at Maltby Street market and a few local restaurants to being available nationwide in Waitrose, Ocado, Sainsbury's and Amazon.

There have been challenges along the way. At the onset of the pandemic, revenues dropped to 12% within a matter of days. But with Hannah taking the lead and making decisions quickly, they've survived. Being a strong female leader has also been an advantage for the business, as it has made them different from the rest of the male-dominated industry.

To hear future episodes from a wide range of inspirational entrepreneurs, subscribe to our Talk Straight | Think Smart with Howard Kennedy series.

Listen here ↓

Subscribe on your favourite podcast channel ↓

Listen on Apple Podcasts badge. Listen on Spotify badge. Listen on Podbean badge.

Quick fire round

Each episode we ask our guests quick fire questions. Hover below to see what this revealed about this week's guest, Hannah Rhodes....

Favourite Beer?

Why us down arrow


Zoom meetings, here to stay or distant memory?

Why us down arrow

Here to stay.

Grow, sell or start again?

Why us down arrow

Grow it.

People or tech?

Why us down arrow


Decision making, perfection or launch and learn?

Why us down arrow

Launch and learn.

A little more about this episode…

Hannah Rhodes didn't come from a family of entrepreneurs, unlike a lot of people she's met in her industry. But her parents did instil in her that anyone can do anything, so she grew up feeling that nothing was ever out of reach.

Throughout her teenage and university years, she had always worked at pubs and restaurants so was very familiar with the hospitality industry. However, she quickly learned new skills about the supplier side of things when she joined Meantime Brewery after university.

During her time there she started to gain an appreciation of where produce came from and the personal stories that connect you to a brand. Working in one of the first craft breweries Hannah could see that the demand for good quality lager was growing and it was a very exciting time to be part of the industry.

Having had a keen interest in sustainability, Hannah went to a local honey tasting experience and found herself fascinated with bees. This led to the opportunity to learn more about beekeeping and that's when she decided to bring bees and beer together. She approached a friend with a small brewery and asked if she could use their premises to try to brew a honey beer. She wanted to do it in an authentic way, using honey in the fermentation process, which no one else was doing.

A few trial brews and consumer tests later and she started Hiver. Being a female in the industry, Hannah had to be careful with the marketing of her products, she didn't want to be seen as a woman creating beer for women, it had to appeal to everyone. And her strategy worked, what started as a stall at a local market on Sundays, grew into a brand that's now sold in nationwide supermarkets.

But the journey hasn't been without its challenges. They worked really hard to gear up for 2020 which they predicted would be a "bumper year" with stock lined up for new partnerships. Suddenly, due to onset of COVID-19, those contracts weren't worth the paper they were written on. Revenue dropped drastically and Hannah had to react quickly. Things only really started to improve in September 2021 but the silver lining of the pandemic was it reminded them of their of connection to end consumer and going back to basics. Things looking up for the the future, with ideas for new product development and a focus on eCommerce.

Podcast artwork: Talk straight, think smart with Hannah Rhodes, Founder, Hiver


For email notifications of each episode, sign up below. 

*Mandatory fields

Express Consent *

By selecting, you agree to Howard Kennedy LLP processing your personal data for the purposes of sending you information about products and services as selected above. If this button is pre-checked, this indicates that you have previously given us your consent. You can withdraw your consent at any time by either emailing dataprotection@howardkennedy.com or clicking on the opt out link within our communications to you. For more information, please visit our GDPR Provisions documents found here.