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Cutting Edge Thinking

Brendan has extensive experience leading the thinking on category & portfolio strategy, brand & channel strategy, integrated marketing communication, creative effectiveness, shopper marketing and trade execution in the drinks category.
Brendan has led the marketing strategy, consumer activation and commercial execution across the scale of global iconic brands, large national power brands, premium brands, craft & speciality brands and of course the alcohol free beer segment and so many brands within it around the world.


Brendan has successfully led strategic growth initiatives and operational implementation in Western, Central & Eastern Europe, Asia and Australia/New Zealand working with different professional cultures and ways of working. He has lived in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Budapest, Copenhagen and London where he is now based. 
He has managed and inspired large marketing, insights and innovation teams and successfully led internal consulting efforts with national leadership teams, operating boards and executive committees. Brendan has extensive international experience, working closely with marketing leadership teams in over 40 countries.

Working Style 

Brendan is recognised for his fresh, creative thinking and dynamism in driving growth of drinks businesses, brands & marketing capability. Brendan has a no-nonsense approach, works hard to find simple solutions to complex problems and is someone who is excited to roll up his sleeves and work hard to help implement great ideas to achieve great results.

The Free Consultancy is led by Brendan Williams one of the world’s leading thinkers in no-low alcohol beer & soft drinks marketing & commercial strategy. 

He has more than 20 years of experience in the drinks industry gained with Carlsberg, Asahi, SABMiller, Coca-Cola and Fosters Group. 

Within the last 10 years Brendan has held senior global(Carlsberg), regional(SABMiller) and national (Asahi) marketing leadership positions.



Stephen Stringer

VP Craft, Specialty & Alcohol Free Brews, Carlsberg 



"I’ve worked with Brendan in a number of different roles and international regions in the beer category. Without fail, his passion and commitment shine through. He has a real desire to develop better thinking, whether strategic or operational making plans more effective and solutions simpler. He takes joy in creating exciting brand and commercial initiatives which is reflected in so much of his work. And along with all that, he’s someone who’s not afraid to literally roll up his sleeves in the field to get things done. He’s impressive, fun to work and have a beer with!

Donogh Lane

Managing Director, Brand Led Growth 



I’ve worked with Brendan in many countries - all with their own different working cultures and structures. Without a doubt he’s someone who can cut across cultural difference and inspire those around him with his infectious energy and enthusiasm. He has a keen eye for understanding local market nuances, and consistently hits the sweet spot between global consistency and local flex.
Brendan is passionate about creating success. He brings structured thinking and a broad commercial understanding to the table. He is a great advocate for world-class marketing and sets high standards, while his commitment to performance measurement and continuous learning and improvement never fails to enthuse those around him.

Robbie Millar

VP Global Marketing, Carlsberg 



Brendan really understands what it takes to win in the no and low alcohol sectors. From identifying and shaping the category & portfolio opportunities, through to developing and executing propositions that work for both customers and consumers. This really helped us as we developed Carlsberg.

Adam Fenton 

Global Brewing Leader 



I’ve had the pleasure of working with Brendan on many technical, brew development and flavour explorations around the world. Notably, Brendan led the project that decoded the taste profile of Pilsner Urquell - the world’s first and most enduring lager. Brendan’s year-long deep dive transformed PU with incredibly appealing consumer language true to Josef Groll’s vision, something that is kept alive in today’s brewing process in Pilsen.
Brendan has a great ability to firstly understand and then build on the technical process of brewing and ingredients to craft exciting marketing ideas. His passion for creating great flavours always adds value, especially on complex projects needing expert leadership from across functions. Brendan has played a significant leadership role bringing many new alcohol-free brews and tastes to the world over recent years, all of which will undoubtedly accelerate long overdue growth of the segment. His is a true passion!

Greg Tucker 

Managing Director, The Marketing Clinic



Brendan is that rare thing: a talented marketeer who builds his clarity of vision on deep consumer insight into the consumption experience and then formulates a comprehensive brand strategy to exploit the opportunities. It is an approach that worked brilliantly on both Pilsner Urquell and Birell where we worked together and I saw the execution of the plan he developed with his team yield stunning results.

Mário Frade

Marketing Manager Super Bock, Craft & Speciality at Super Bock Group



“The Super Bock team worked with Brendan in the past to develop our alcohol free
sub-category & portfolio strategy. Brendan partnered with us to lead a
comprehensive and structured process which also helped refine our alcohol-free
brand & sub-channel priorities. His support coincided with intense competitive
pressure during which we felt confident to successfully address and grow the
business. Brendan brings a lot of energy and enthusiasm to the team, along with
real passion and superb knowledge of the beer category.”

Morten Boye

Senior Category Director, MYP at Arla Foods



I have worked closely together with Brendan managing the global alcohol-free brews category for the Carlsberg Group. While working together Brendan demonstrated an ability to quickly understand the complexities, barriers and opportunities of the alcohol-free category across multiple markets to create simple yet effective solutions ready for local implementation. He was critical in developing the strategic thinking which led to a consistent but flexible approach to grow the global alcohol-free business based on the maturity of the category in the individual market and the relative strength of the Carlsberg company in the market. Brendan has been instrumental in establishing a ready-to-execute strategy and playbook for alcohol-free brews in Carlsberg. Our results are a great testament to the quality of our work and how it has shaped the future of the business. Further it has been a pleasure to work with Brendan and to develop strategy, plans and ideas together and executing with regions and local markets.


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