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#StartupStory: MOOD Gin is the lockdown baby of Nzeka Biyela

MOOD Gin is the lockdown baby of Nzeka Biyela and her partners, Rob Heyns and Matt Schaal. For these entrepreneurs, this isn't the first venture into the alcohol industry. From their experience in the craft beer and gin space, they've learned to look and be inspired by the public when creating a new product.

Nzeka Biyela tells us more about MOOD Gin.

Nzeka Biyela, founder of MOOD Gin
Nzeka Biyela, founder of MOOD Gin

When and how was the brand born?

The brand was born in October 2020, and it was born from a consumer need. A need to create a healthy alternative to the G&T that tastes as good without the sugar. And one that comes at an accessible price.

How did you come up with the name?

We wanted to focus on the consumer, and put them at the centre of the brand. We wanted to be consumer-centric vs. brand-centric.

Shifting our narrative from telling our story and being prescriptive on how gin should be enjoyed to focusing on your likes or dislikes, your interests, your wants and your lifestyle. Understanding you and celebrating you. Your MOOD, your rules!

It’s where the MOOD takes you, and we’re coming along for the ride.

What’s your vision for the brand?

For MOOD to become a household brand locally and internationally. And for MOOD to be known as a great South African premium gin that pioneered the G&S movement.

BizcommunityTell us about your product offering.

We have three gins:

  • Classic: A classic dry gin with a strong citrus body. A little spicy. A little tangy. A lot of flavour.
  • Amber: a New Western style gin with an unexpected honey lemon mashup. It has a slightly sweet ‘n sharp flavour. And is my personal favourite, I describe it as dangerously delicious!
  • Pink: Pretty in pink, a fragrant gin with rose, lemon, mint and that classically dry juniper-pine realness.

What are some of the challenges of getting your products out there?

With Covid-19, it’s been difficult to be in stores speaking directly to consumers and doing tastings. That’s been the biggest challenge really, as we’re a new brand with a new concept (Gin & Soda), therefore it is vital to tell the story well and further prove it by allowing consumers to taste it.

How can consumers get their hands on your products?

Our gins are available nationally at Makro stores, Makro online, and They’re also available at various independent stores like Tops Hillcrest, Tops Radiokop, Loco Liquors Blairgowrie, Liquor City Claremont, Woodstock Liquors, Roeland Liquors, Bar Keeper, Kommetjie Liquors, Shorties Blue Bottle, and a lot more.

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