SAVING THE REEF, ONE BEER AT A TIME
Written on the 1 December 2015 by Laura Daquino
NOT to be confused with drinking like a fish, one Brisbane craft beer company is encouraging drinking for the fish.
The Good Beer Co. is feeling 'hoptimistic' about its ability to shake up Australia's $4 billion beer industry for the Great Barrier Reef.
James Grugeon (pictured left) is encouraging drinking for a higher purpose through his newly launched social enterprise The Good Beer Co., taking leaf out of the 'good beer' movement's success across the US and the UK.
Social enterprises like Finnegans in Minnesota, which feeds the hungry, and Two Fingers Brewing Co. in the UK, whose funds are directed at Prostate Cancer, are held up as benchmarks.
The Good Beer Co. launched a crowdfunding campaign on its website today for production of its first drop, Great Barrier Reef.
This will see at least 50 per cent of profits go to the Australian Marine Conservation Society for the Great Barrier Reef, which has lost half its coral cover in the past 30 years.
"Australians are one of the most beer-loving nations on earth, yet our beer-drinking dollars go largely to for-profit, multinational companies," says Grugeon.
"This money could be going to good causes right here in Australia, and what better way to raise money for a good cause than to ask people to have a beer for it."
Grugeon has a wealth of experience working in environmental roles directly related to climate change for the past 12 years. He previously ran the UK's oldest NGO, Environmental Protection UK, and also headed corporate social responsibility for a big London banking group before coming to Australia five years ago.
This is the first time the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) has partnered with a social enterprise, which has been described by Grugeon as a 'pioneering move' by AMCS CEO Darren Kindleysides.
"The Great Barrier Reef is one of the seven natural wonders of the world but also one of the most critical environmental causes in Australia," says Grugeon.
"I couldn't think of a more important charity to support with our first beer than the AMCS."
With ethics at the centre of the supply chain, The Good Beer Co. has partnered with Bargara Brewing Company in Bundaberg.
"We chose Bargara because they have a strong commitment to the local community and their farmers and sourcing ethical ingredients," says Grugeon.
"We felt they were the best partner all along, so it was great to land them.
"One of the great things about craft beer in Australia is the breweries are really collaborative as well. They want people to think about what they think and will go to great lengths to make sure you enjoy the experience."