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Taking the plunge

At some point in most of our lives, we all get that moment. Usually it involves some alcohol, talking shit with your mates, some vibing tunes, and then it happens…. “We should buy a Bar!” or “We should start a brewery!”. And so for the next few hours you talk about how cool it would be. Our bar will have only the best music, our brewery should be themed like this, imagine if we could do that….. People will love it.

These conversations usually end in the early hours, and through the morning hangover, those thoughts drift back to the alternate world they came from, simmering, almost incoherently in the back of the mind while you go to work on Monday. These thoughts never go away completely, they’re patiently waiting to re-emerge when you next get together with your mates.

For some of us, that’s where it stays, and for others, this shit talk moves from 2am on Saturday morning, to 2pm on Saturday afternoon, and from talk, you actually start setting out how to make your dream a reality. For us this started in our mid to late twenties. We all had our professional careers, but there was an urge, a basic desire, to do something for yourself. We can all relate to the comfort of having a stable job with a fortnightly pay check. But at times you wonder how much easier it would be to work the 80 hour weeks, when it was for something that you truly loved and you gained all the rewards from your own sweet success.

By now the year is 2017, Alice and Jarrod have corporate jobs for large companies, and Grace had been a commercial brewer for several years. The fact that Grace was a brewer, and loved her job, and we all loved the independent beer world, naturally steered our talk to one day having our own brewery.

Our discussions were based around the fact that there were already a lot of breweries in Australia, so what would make us different? What would make us successful? Why does everyone seem to want to own a brewery?

These are good questions. In Australia, there were already some 500 breweries, most were struggling to operate profitably, and great beer alone didn’t mean we were going to make it. Because Grace was already a successful, award winning brewer, we had a lot of exposure to many breweries over the years and we could see there were a lot of trends that were worth pursuing.

So after months of discussions, frank conversations, and a lot of research, we sat down in November and had the talk.

Some interesting statistics we found along the way. Australia already had more breweries per capita than America, and yet, independent beer only made up around 3% of consumption. In America, it was already over 10%. Additionally, the two majors in Australia employed around 6,000 people, while accounting for 89% of beer consumption. The 500+ independent breweries, also employed collectively around 6,000 people. This gave an indication as to how much independent breweries supported local jobs, but also was a wake up call as to how much more money it costs to produce independent beer.

Are we going to do it? If we are, this is the time. Once we commit, we fully commit. This is going to take up every spare bit of time we have, our nights and weekends will be gone. It’s not going to be cheap, and success is going to be many years away. But the ride would be worth it. So on a warm evening in a little apartment in Newtown, Reckless Brewing Co. was born.


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