“Believe in your product, have a clear vision, and be prepared to hustle relentlessly to make it a reality.” – Youngwon Lee, Dokkaebier’s Founder
In the latest installment of Nielsen IQ’s Founder’s Series, Andrew Criezis welcomes Youngwon Lee, founder of Dokkaebier. Dokkaebier is a craft brewery inspired by Asian flavors and cultures, founded in Oakland, California. Lee, having over 15 years of experience in the alcohol industry, noticed two key problems in the craft beer market: oversaturation and a lack of premium options in Asian retailers.
To overcome these challenges, he initially collaborated with local breweries to craft his unique Asian-inspired beers. However, the pandemic presented a major hurdle, necessitating door-to-door deliveries across the Bay Area, working hard to eventually open his own space.
Breaking into retail was another challenge, but stores like Berkeley Bowl recognized the opportunity to offer something different to their customers. Convincing Asian American buyers required extra effort due to their unfamiliarity with craft beer. Lee’s strategy included participating in numerous beer festivals to introduce people to Dokkaebier innovative flavors. Nielsen IQ’s data provided the valuable insights into potential markets and boosted Lee’s confidence for expansion beyond California.
Youngwon Lee’s advice to fellow founders is simple: believe in your product, have a clear vision, and be prepared to hustle relentlessly to make it a reality. Despite early doubts, Dokkaebier is carving a unique space in the craft beer market, driven by a passion for innovation and a commitment to quality.
Watch Dokkaebier in the 2023 NIQ Founder’s Pitch Slam
Learn more from successful entrepreneurs
Want more stories from thriving CPG entrepreneurs? Watch the full Founders series.