Lost and Grounded

• • • Community Champion Award • • •


I knew to expect good news, delivered with dry humour and a healthy degree of nonchalance, when I first got in touch with Alex Troncoso, co-founder of Bristol-based brewery, Lost and Grounded. Restored faith in the power of beer to do good in the world is always a given with this lot, but on the occasion that I speak to Alex, it’s like I have uncorked a barrel with a reservoir behind it; the good stuff just keeps coming. 

Over the three weekends prior to my catching up with Alex, Lost and Grounded supplied Shambala, End of the Road, Meatopia, and Forwards Festival, rounding off the summer with a wedding reception at the brewery, and its busiest day of sales ever, since the brewery began operating seven year ago. Alex tells me these festivals are fantastic opportunities to connect with people, and introduce them to Lost and Grounded, but the festival that the team was most proud to have sponsored this year, was Vaults Festival, back in January. 

The biggest independent arts festival in London, Vaults runs for eight weeks every year, and aims to provide under-represented artists and performers with access to spaces where they can showcase their work. In addition to contributing its Belgian Red Ale, No Rest for Dancers, to the festival's closing party, Lost and Grounded opened a pop-up in collaboration with the organisers, and offered a built-in stage space to any performer who might want to use it over the course of the festival. “Unfortunately next year, Vaults seems to be losing its venue,” says Alex, “so it might not go ahead then, unless it can find somewhere new. Fingers crossed that can work itself out, because we’d love to work with them again in future.”

Further to this kind of work, Alex says the brewery has just recently partnered with Latent Pictures, a filming company dedicated to diversity and inclusivity not only in terms of who appears on camera, but who works with the company. “They'll tend to have a paid intern on every shoot,” says Alex, “with the aim being to give people from underrepresented backgrounds a chance to actually get some skills, and also learn that their skills are valued. As you know, in the arts, a lot of people get tricked into working for free.”

Championing the value, integrity and dignity of all people seems a common thread through all of Lost and Grounded's endeavours, so much so that their fundraising and sponsorship feels more like activism than charity. Sandwiched between kind nonchalance, dry humour, and events like Dog Day Afternoon – an event which flooded the brewery with over 100 bestest boys and goodest girls, in support of Street Vet, a veterinarian practice that provides care to the pets of homeless people – Lost and Grounded has been showing up for initiatives like Caring for Bristol, The Felix Project, War Child UK, and Bristol Pride.

The beer’s not doing bad either. It’s only at the very end of my conversation with Alex, that he remembers the brewery’s Keller Pils had just recently won best in category, at World Beer Cup® 2023. “We actually forgot we’d entered,” he says. “Then one evening, Annie [Clements, Alex’s partner and brewery co-founder] turned to me and said, ‘hey, isn't the World Beer Cup on tonight?’. We tuned into the live stream just in time to see our Keller Pils win gold in its category, which featured 88 other entries, so that was really cool – oh! I forgot to mention, we’re also sponsoring exhibitions at the Martin Parr Foundation.”

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