Ocean Action Hub

21 Oct 2016 - When thinking about craft beer, one’s mind doesn’t typically jump to Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef, but environmentalist and entrepreneur James Grugeon wants to change that.

Grugeon has launched The Good Beer Company in Queensland, a social enterprise that will give 50% of its profits to the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) to help raise awareness about the dangers facing the world’s largest coral reef.

The “Great Barrier Beer” is a mid-strength pale ale that has even been given the tick of approval by Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull himself.

“The Prime Minister and Barnaby Joyce had a taste test and they loved it. Turnbull even said: ‘How can you not smile when drinking this beer’. We’ve got it on tape,” Grugeon told SmartCompany.

Grugeon moved to Australia five years ago and began working for Powershop, a green energy company that has raised over $2 million for charities. Having hailed originally from the United Kingdom, Grugeon wondered why there were no social enterprise beer companies down under.

“My idea was not an original one, there are two great companies like ours that already exist, Finnegans in the US and Two Fingers Brewing Co in the UK,” he says.

“I contacted them to get advice on how to make it work in Australia, and the guys from those companies are now on our advisory board.”

Grugeon knew his first challenge was determining both a cause and a charity partner, along with a brewer to complete the contract work. He quickly identified the Great Barrier Reef as an issue close to many Australian’s hearts and sought support from the AMCS.

“I knew how challenging it was for [the AMCS] to raise money, and the director and the board were up for the idea and supportive from the get go, which was amazing,” Grugeon says.

Grugeon selected Queensland craft brewers Bargara Brewing Company to brew the Great Barrier Beer, saying the brewers are “environmentally responsible” and in touch with their community. Continue reading here: http://www.smartcompany.com.au/entrepreneurs/meet-entrepreneur-created-beer-brand-social-difference-counts-prime-minister-among-supporters/

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Publication Author: 
Dominic Powell
Thematic Area: 
Ocean Acidification