Bucket Boys to rebrand as Local Drinks Collective

Bucket Boys is being rebranded as Local Drinks Collective, following its acquisition by Batch Brewing Co. earlier this year.

The beer retailer and venue operator made the announcement in an email, stating that the change will affect the Bucket Boys branding across multiple platforms.

“We’re rolling out the Local Drinks Collective brand to replace the Bucket Boys retail store, online store, social media pages and these emails,” the announcement read.

“We’ll still have all the fun and interesting beers, wines and mixed packs to purchase both online and in-store, and not much will change with these emails other than the logo and the odd mention of a new and exciting Batch or Wayward limited release.”

The business also announced the refurbishment of its Marrickville bar, which will now operate as a Wayward Brewing Co. speakeasy bar.

Earlier this year, Batch Brewing Co. announced its acquisition of Bucket Boys, following the challenges faced by the retailer during COVID.

“It’s really tough, and obviously tough financially and mentally and everything in between, running a hospitality business during COVID,” Bucket Boys co-founder Johnathan Hepner said at the time.

“A bigger business can manage the fact that business goes up and down. But we made a big play right before COVID at the end of 2019 and one of them was a major traffic venue, which relied on the foot traffic of tourists and people in offices, and then we got stuck in COVID.”

In October, Wayward Brewing Co. and Batch announced the partnership of the Local Drinks Collective, a new entity owned and operated by member breweries.

At the time, Batch described the new business’ model as designed for breweries to work together in a cooperative structure.

In a recent episode of the Beer is a Conversation podcast, founders Andrew Fineran and Chris Sidwa elaborated on what the entity aims to achieve with its model, including tackling staff shortages and retention.

“One of the key things for us with the Local Drinks Collective is being able to access a pool of talent that’s bigger than what our business has, and enabling people to have careers,” Sidwa said.

“Our partners at Wayward have put in a share scheme, so employees are earning and owning into the company that they work for.

“We will be doing that with the Local Drinks Collective as well. So all of our staff will have access to ownership.”

Fineran explained it’s also about leveraging the strengths of each member brewery, with the aim for future members to provide their own value.

“I always put my hand up and say ‘I feel like I’ve personally failed at wholesale, but where they [Wayward] have really succeeded at wholesale,” Fineran said.

“So we can sit there and say, ‘let’s put this together, we can offer more retail sales and venues, you guys offer significant growth for the whole business and wholesale’, and we’re all achieving.

“Ideally, the next brewery is able to help bring something that adds value to what we’ve created now in this first iteration.

“And as we go forward, who knows? I don’t know how that’s gonna play out because once you get the third, fourth, fifth brewery, how much different can we be? Or what different aspects can they bring?

“But who knows? We’re going on that journey now. So we’ll figure that one out.”

Listen to the full Beer is a Conversation episode with Andrew Fineran and Chris Sidwa of Batch Brewing below.

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