The Good Beer Co – like a lot of social enterprises and, in particular, like businesses in the independent beer and hospitality sector, has had to adapt during the COVID-19 pandemic. And collaboration has been the way to keep things going – which has been heartening, enjoyable and worthwhile!
First up, with borders closed in Australia and the UK we obviously had to park our planned UK launch – a new beer for the Jo Cox Foundation to be launched at their Great Get Together event (which normally involves 3 million people at over 35,000 local community events across the UK). So we held a “beers from both sides of the world” online event to celebrate and mark the Great Get Together with people in the UK and in Australia – I was joined by our good mate and fellow Queensland social enterprise, Clinton from Sobah Non Alcoholic Beverages in Australia and by Catherine the CEO of the Jo Cox Foundation and Fergus, the Head Brewer at The Good Beer Co’s brewery partners at Adnams in the UK.
Here’s the blog I wrote about my friend Jo Cox and the Great Get Together for that event: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/good-beer-bring-us-together-james-grugeon/
As we all went into lockdown and The Good Beer Co wasn’t able to brew or sell beers I teamed up with my friends Matt and Jos from Hop On Brewery Tours (also on a COVID-19 pause – with breweries in lockdown and tourists not allowed to travel) and eight fantastic independent craft breweries from across Australia (including fellow social enterprises Sobah in Queensland and Sparkke in South Australia) to launch and run the ‘A Good Beer Always Helps’ campaign to raise funds to shout Aussie essential workers a 4 pack of local beers.
I was also helped by Leigh Grigaliunas from fellow social enterprise World’s Biggest Garage Sale, who took over setting up our website forms and back end and everyone tech related – working in the evenings and at weekends to make sure it was ready and it worked. And by a bunch of amazing creatives who produced video, social media and other content for the campaign for the love of social enterprise, local beer and the campaign.
The campaign took off quickly raising over $20,000 in donations in its first two weeks and I was interviewed live by ABC News 24 from my home and by Channel Ten Studio Ten from Newstead Brewery and our brewery partners at Van Dieman and Moo Brew in Tasmania and at Capital Brewing in Canberra also did live television interviews. It was a lovely positive campaign that not only provided support to independent craft breweries doing it tough but also thanked our essential workers the Australian way – with a round of local beers!
The Pozible campaign raised $52,000 enabling us to thank 2,600 nurses, aged care workers, posties, refuse collectors, supermarket workers, teachers, home care workers, ambos, police, fire fighters and more a gift of beers to thank them for their care, courage and generosity in keeping us all safe and keeping the country going during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Here’s the team at our BCorp crowd funding platform partners Pozible writing about the success of phase one of ‘A Good Beer Always Helps’: https://blog.pozible.com/crowdfunding-success-story-a-good-beer-always-helps-eb2a1197f547
Following the success of the crowd fund campaign I was approached by Founders First and another 8 independent craft breweries to join ‘A Good Beer Always Helps’ by putting together a campaign case of 16 independent craft beers to sell nationwide in BWS and Dan Murphys stores (and online).
During phase one of the campaign (the crowd fund) we registered 10,000 essential workers who requested a gift of beers via a form on our website and I was determined to shout them all a beer. Thanks to the campaign case and the generosity of Founders First and all 16 of the campaign’s independent craft brewery partners we’ve been able to let all 10,000 workers know we’ll be thanking them with a beer!
Here’s Beer and Brewer writing about the campaign and our campaign case – now available in over 1,000 BWS and Dan Murphys stores nationwide: https://www.beerandbrewer.com/a-good-beer-continues-to-help/
‘A Good Beer Always Helps’ was inspired by a campaign set up by UK social enterprise Brewgooder (who, like The Good Beer Co work with breweries to create and sell beers to sell for good causes) called #oneonus which donates a 4 pack of Brewgooder beers to NHS workers on the frontline of tackling the COVID-19 pandemic there: https://www.brewgooder.com/oneonus
The campaign has helped us to forge new friendships and relationships at a very challenging time – like our brand and campaign going into BWS and Dan Murphys nationwide. But most importantly it’s done some good – for the independent craft beer industry in Australia that has supported us for over 4 and a half years and for hard working essential workers who don’t ask to be thanked but definitely appreciate it.
I’m looking forward to watching all of our 16 partners and the wider independent craft beer industry in Queensland, Australia and the UK, emerge from a difficult period of time and am standing by to offer support as a friend and partner and social enterprise.
Like our mixed case of beers in BWS and Dan Murphys, COVID-19 has brought together organisations and people who haven’t previously collaborated and they’ve benefitted from teaming up and working together – stronger collectively than they are individually.
Find out more at www.thegoodbeerco.com.au