Great Barrier Beer strikes back

Brisbane beer lovers came out last Wednesday night to campaign for Australia’s natural wonder, with the launch of Great Barrier Beer 2.0 in cans at Ballistic Alehouse West End.

The Great Barrier Reef is in the fight of its life, experiencing two back-to-back coral bleaching epidemics due to climate change and pollution.

As a follow up to Great Barrier Beer released in 2015, Great Barrier Beer 2.0 supports the Australian Marine Conservation Society and their ‘Fight for Our Reef’ campaign, with ten percent of profits going directly to the foundation.

Brewed for The Good Beer Co. by Brisbane’s Ballistic Beer Co, Great Barrier Beer 2.0 is described as a crisp and refreshing 5% Australian Lager with passionfruit and citrus tones.

The man behind The Good Beer Co., James Grugeon, started the business to brew beer for good causes and inspire change by demonstrating what purpose-led businesses can achieve.

Grugeon was enthusiastic to reveal his new product and challenged Aussie beer drinkers to ‘save the reef’ at the crowdfunding event.

“Great Barrier Beer 2.0 is an easy drinking Australian Lager that is fresh and light, made from galaxy hops and Queensland malt that is intended to be enjoyed in the sun,” he said.

“It is an amazing Australian beer, made from all Australian ingredients, made for an Aussie icon,” he said.

Queensland’s Minister for Tourism and Innovation, Kate Jones MP, enjoyed a couple of beers herself before officially launching the social enterprise beer, praising Good Beer Co’s mission and contribution to the state.

“It is so great to see a Brisbane-based company getting national recognition,” she said.

“I think this is the kind of social innovation that will transform the Queensland economy,” she said.

The self-confessed ‘proud beer girl’ highlighted how humbled she was to be releasing a beer that represents everything she works and campaigns for.

“It makes sense that I am here tonight as I am the Minister for Innovation and Tourism because from an innovation perspective, this is the very first social enterprise beer in the country,” Minister Jones said.

“In regards to tourism, we know that the number one reason tourists come to Queensland is to see the Great Barrier Reef and it is worth six billion dollars to the industry, so it makes sense to back this beer.”

The Minister also acknowledged the the artistic team at Brother & Co. for their amazing artwork, all done on a pro bono basis. The new cans feature a water colour painting using water from the Great Barrier Reef.

With no set price charged for a beer at the launch, all drinkers were encouraged to donate as much or as little as they could afford when purchasing a brew, with all proceeds going to campaign.

Owner of Ballistic Beer Company, David Kitchen, said he was thrilled to be hosting the worthy event and commended Mr Grugeon for his dedication to social enterprise projects.

“From a company point of view, his business is brilliant because profits go straight to the charity. James is completely transparent,” he said.

The future looks bright for both the Great Barrier Reef and Great Barrier Beer 2.0 with plans to partner with other organisations to gently ease out more cartons to core supporters.

Mr Grugeon hopes the cans will be available in BWS by the new year with the beer already provided on the complete fleet of P&O Cruise ships, providing invaluable exposure for the cause.

Also in attendance on the night was CEO of Australian Marine Conservation Society, Darren Kindleysides, who supported the new brew and urged everyone to be an environmental advocate.

“Great Barrier Beer 1.0 was a light tropical session ale that conjured up energies of the Great Barrier Reef on a lazy afternoon out on a sailing boat so this beer has a lot to live up to but sometimes, sequels are even better than the original – just like the ‘Empire Strikes Back’!”

“This beer is simply a brilliant idea, it marries two great Aussie icons; the reef and drinking beer and it can make a real difference for the reef by raising funds but more importantly it is raising awareness,” he said.

“This beer stands here for the future of the reef and every time you are raising a glass of this beer you are raising a glass to the future of the reef.”

To date $21,248 has been raised for the Great Barrier Reef and with just a week left for the crowdfunding campaign, beer drinkers can contribute to the fight by buying a carton of Great Barrier Beer 2.0 or a t-shirt via Pozible.

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