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James Grugeon

Hawthorne, SEQ

Using an innovative and disruptive new approach to beer, James Grugeon started The Good Beer Co., Australia's first social enterprise beer company. His business provides beer drinkers and retailers with a new and easy way to show support for a good cause.

Hi, my name is James Grugeon, my business is The Good Beer Company and we're based in Brisbane.

I describe The Good Beer Co. in really simple terms; you can have a really good beer that you're enjoying drinking, and you're doing good for a cause that you care about at the same time, simple.

The best way to learn about my line of work, which is social enterprise, and to a lesser extent, good beer, is to ask questions.

I didn't have a lot of business experience when I started The Good Beer Co., I certainly had – outside of drinking a lot of beer and enjoying it – I had a failed attempt at starting a social enterprise business in Melbourne, and I learnt a lot by getting to the point where we'd almost managed to make something work, but couldn't quite make it work. But most of my experience from a business point of view has come from running projects, putting together partnerships, doing business development.

I'm aware that there's a lot of support out there in terms of grants and advice from government and I certainly intend to use it. I think we're at the stage now where we may be ready to come in and look at how we can get support from government in those forms of assistance, and that's really exciting and great to see.

The Good Beer Co. is a social enterprise beer company that gives 10% of the cost of every carton or keg of beer sold and 50% of profits to charity partners. The company works with Australian independent brewers and retailers to brew and sell beer while partnering with Australian charities to fund and raise awareness of their cause.

The Good Beer Co. have brewed and sold 3 social enterprise beers. The first one, Great Barrier Beer, raised funds for the Australian Marine Conservation Society. Their Love Beer supported the Australian Marriage Equality campaign and the Great Get Together Pale Ale raised funds for the Jo Cox Foundation in the UK.

The business have built a 'movement for good beer' of customers willing to help promote their social enterprise, beer and the causes they supports. The Good Beer Co. crowdfunded presales of their first 2 beers and used social media and digital marketing to involve customers and early supporters in the branding and style of their first beers. They have also partnered with supermarkets to put Great Barrier Beer in more than 100 Queensland stores and with a major cruise line to put their beer onto its entire Australian ship fleet.

The Good Beer Co.'s point of difference comes from the new concept and first mover status as a beer-based social enterprise. They have aligned people who enjoy drinking beer with the growing band of conscious consumers who want to give back and show support for causes they care about.

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