TWO BROTHERS with a passion for nature have started their own alcoholic sparkling water business which they hope can be used “as a mechanism to be a force for good” in wildlife conservation.

Rob Smith, 25, and James Smith, 23, started Arrowtown last December from the garage of their home in Hellingly, East Sussex, with ambitious dreams to break into a rapidly growing section of the industry.

Older brother, Rob, said he was initially inspired when trying the drink while travelling New Zealand during 2018 in a place called… Arrowtown, a small town of around 3,000 people.

Rob told The Argus that following his return home, he realised the “hype” of the drink, known as a hard seltzer, had not hit the UK yet.

He said: “We thought we would be one of the first, then all of a sudden everyone was getting on this trend. People were calling it the new craft beer. All of a sudden Smirnoff, Kopparberg and Brewdog have one.”

Despite the two brothers being up against the “big guns” – Rob added that they have a unique weapon in their “David vs Goliath” battle.

The Argus: The business wants to support wildlife conservation charities with every can sold.The business wants to support wildlife conservation charities with every can sold.

The pair, who both finished university last year, decided that they will donate a percentage from every can sold to two different wildlife conservation charities.

Rob added: “That was something that was very important to us. So the basic idea was giving people the ability to make a difference by doing something as simple as changing a drink. Hence our slogan is “do your bit with every sip”.

“We partnered with Tusk, the African wildlife conservation charity, and then Sea Shepherd, the marine conservation charity.

“Sea Shepherd are a really cool charity, they have this massive fleet of boats and use direct force to tackle illegal whale poaching boats.

The Argus: Rob and James in the factory and James outside one of the shops they stock.Rob and James in the factory and James outside one of the shops they stock.

“We wanted to raise the awareness of the issues, hence the bold design with the cans.”

Arrowtown boast a range of three drinks currently – lime and elderflower, red berries and tropical. The drinks are sold mostly in local retailers, but they are trying to get the drinks stocked on supermarket shelves in the future.

“It’s hard to donate personally to charities all the time, so the idea is that we could use the business as a mechanism to be a force for good to help protect these animals.

“We were fed up, the alcohol category is full of big players. All the big companies with huge budgets and resources, yet none of them were doing anything. There was nothing on the shelf doing any good, it was purely profit-driven.

“We wanted to have a brand people can get behind and do some good while just changing your drink.”

For more information on Arrowtown, visit their website.

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