We talked to Fraser Allen from Hot Rum Cow, a magazine for people curious about great beers, wines and spirits – and the extraordinary stories behind them.
Tell us a bit about Hot Rum Cow
Hot Rum Cow is a quarterly print magazine for people who are fascinated by great beers, wines and spirits – and the extraordinary stories behind them. We’ve named it after a warm cocktail made from rum, milk, brown sugar and nutmeg. Some people love it, others don’t – and that’s exactly the sort of magazine we wanted to create. The magazine is published by White Light Media, an Edinburgh-based company that I set up 11 years ago. Our main line of business is creating bespoke magazines – print and online – for clients around the UK.
Why beers, wines and spirits?
We wanted to launch our own magazine and came up with a list of possible subjects. We’re keeping those up our sleeves but the one that stood out for our first launch was ‘booze’. There are plenty of great food magazines around but there aren’t many drinks one – and nothing like Hot Rum Cow.
Who’s it for?
People like us – consumers who enjoy good drinks lovingly made by passionate people and want to know the stories (and histories) behind them. None of us are connoisseurs but we’re all curious (and enthusiastic!) drinkers. I see a Hot Rum Cow reader as the guy who would always try a local craft ale rather than a can of mass-produced fizzy lager, or the woman whose eyes drift up towards the shelf of exotic spirits and liqueurs in her local deli, fascinated by the label designs and strange colours. There are people like us all over the world – as we know from our growing subs base. It also explains why we’re a big fan of Issuu, which brings great, independent magazines to a global audience.
What does the future look like for Hot Rum Cow?
Launching a news-stand magazine from a standing start is a costly business, so we’re taking things slowly at the moment and making sure we get everything right. It’s all about building sales and subs – and we now have a fantastic team at the Royal Academy of Arts who are managing ad sales. Next steps? We have a lot of stuff up our sleeves. We’re looking at events, we’re working on brewing our own beer and, one of these days, our own Hot Rum Cow pub isn’t out of the question.