This week, we talk to David Jackson, a serial entrepreneur who has found success in his most recent venture, Beneficial Beer Co. Inspired by a determination to ‘give booze the boot’, David decided to channel this experience towards creating a non-alcoholic beer that retains the taste and flavour of regular beer. Since launching its first product into the market in March this year, Beneficial Beer Co has gained a following in the non-alcoholic beverage market, and has earned a number of accolades along the way.
ISB: What motivated you to swear off alcohol and create a non-alcoholic beer brand in the process?
DJ: I’ve long struggled with drinking alcohol and its mental health implications, but after losing my father and three good mates within 12 months, I knew I needed to give up the booze for good. The first few weeks were the toughest and I realised I had to cement the commitment that I made to myself. So, I turned the challenge of not drinking into a passion by creating a business that would give me a much better chance of not only keeping my word, but also turn my struggles and story into a force for good, and that’s when the Beneficial Beer Co was born.
ISB: Given your experience in starting a business, what makes your business journey with Beneficial Beer Co a unique one?
DJ: The journey for Beneficial Beer Co is extremely unique to me. I started the business by myself, and I’m still working every day in the office to get it to a level where it can sustain itself and my replacements. It’s also a totally new sector for me to be in. Beverage manufacturing, distribution, wholesaling, marketing and retailing is something I’d never dreamt that I would be doing but here I am, following a passion and making it happen, one mistake at a time!
ISB: Despite being a non-alcoholic brand, how do Beneficial Beer Co’s products taste just as good as other alcoholic brands?
DJ: One of our co-founders, Bruce Peachey, is an Australian lager brewing legend who was instrumental in guiding both Tooheys and Bluetongue Brewery businesses and products in the 90s and early 2000s. We began our product development journey somewhat selfishly, wanting to create the perfect non-alcoholic beer that tasted like a mid-strength, full-bodied lager just like we were used to. We decided to brew our now double award-winning Stone Cold Lager the traditional, tried and tested way using all the ingredients you’d want in your beer – barley grain, water, hops and yeast. This leaves in all the flavours and esters you would expect from a traditional lager.
ISB: Why is it important for your products to be ethically sourced and produced?
DJ: Personally, I like to buy products that are ethically sourced and produced where I can and it’s what I expect our customers to be demanding of businesses as well. Our Brewed for Humankind brand value goes further than just a great non-alcoholic alternative for Australians wanting to reduce their booze intake, it guides everything we do. We’ve only been in the market since March and already work exclusively with solar-powered brewing partners, recycle spent production grain to feed local livestock and have a really cool partnership with a crypto/sustainability company being announced soon.
ISB: What has been the highlight thus far for Beneficial Beer Co. that you are proud to have accomplished?
DJ: Other than nailing the Stone Cold Lager, a flavour profile that I’m incredibly proud of, the beer has already won a couple of bronze awards after only brewing two batches to date, one at the 2022 Australian International Beer Awards (AIBA) for Best Non-Alcohol Beer and the other at the Independent Beer Awards Australia (IBA) for the best NOLO Beer.
ISB: What advice can you give to other aspiring entrepreneurs who are looking to bring their own business ideas to life?
DJ: Make sure your business idea aligns with your own passions and life goals. If you get that right, your idea, which will eventually turn into a business and it will simply become an extension of yourself. You’ll find yourself waking up earlier to work, strategise and execute. Never stop thinking of new ideas either, if they’re good enough, they’ll stick. Also, make sure you surround yourself with mentors, associates and mates who can give you advice, teach you new things, motivate you or call you out of your missteps. That’s really important. Don’t work in an echo chamber.
Inside Small Business
Also feautured in Inside FMCG