Lonely Planet Writer

Drink up for a good cause in Brisbane: buy a beer, save the reef!

Want to help save the Great Barrier Reef? Crack open a beer.

Beer to save the Great Barrier Reef?
Beer to save the Great Barrier Reef? Image by Quinn Dombrowski / CC BY-SA 2.0

Brisbane-based craft beer brewer James Grugeon is inviting Aussies and travellers to drink up for a good cause, by pledging to donate at least 50% of the profits from his Good Beer Co microbrews to charity. And the first charity to benefit from this social enterprise? The Australian Marine Conservation Society.

Mr Grugeon has launched a crowdfunding campaign to produce the Great Barrier Beer, an Indian pale ale that will be the first of ten microbrews produced by the company over ten years. As each brew is developed it will be paired with a charity, which will receive a portion of the profits from its dedicated brew.

Sea turtle on the Great Barrier Reef.
Sea turtle on the Great Barrier Reef. Image by gjhamley / CC BY 2.0

Explaining his decision to partner with the Australian Marine Conservation Society for the first brew, Mr Grugeon told the ABC, “The reef is so important for Australia and Queensland in terms of not just it being this iconic, beautiful natural resource, but also from a tourism point of view and for the economy. This is an issue which will resonate with people and was important.”

The social enterprise is hoping to tap into a growing shift away from big beer brands towards smaller artisan microbrews. It’s a move that has been applauded by many in the environmental sector. “As a passionate environmentalist and a craft beer fan myself, this is an exciting venture,” Australian Marine Conservation Society chief executive Darren Kindleysides enthused. “It’s such a refreshingly innovative way to raise much-needed awareness and funds for the protection of our reef.”

If all goes to plan, Good Beer Co’s Great Barrier Beer will be available for purchase in pubs and bottle shops from February 2016.