For those of legal drinking age who can appreciate a nice, cold beer, social enterprise beer company, The Good Beer Co., has developed a simple mission. Based in Brisbane, Australia, they express a purpose statement we can all get behind: ‘Good Beer that Does Good.’ What is the driving force behind their bottles of goodness? Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.
Founder of The Good Beer Co., James Grugeon, was inspired by similar campaigns in the UK that donate their brewing proceeds to good causes like prostate cancer research and feeding the homeless. With the Great Barrier Reef reigning as one of Australia’s greatest attractions, raising money for protection of the reef made perfect sense to Grugeon. “People I talk to are usually like, ‘So what you’re saying is, have a cold one, relax, and I’ve just done some good work for the Great Barrier Reef?’ It’s just good beer that does good,” says Grugeon.
“Message in a bottle” just got a whole new meaning
The new India pale ale, appropriately named Great Barrier Beer, gives 50 percent of its profits to Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS), an organization that has been campaigning for protection of the world’s largest reef for 50 years. AMCS is an independent charity working on projects like: creating marine sanctuaries, making fisheries sustainable, and protecting the Australian coasts from inappropriate development that can pollute the ocean and coastlines. Their efforts to improve water quality, reduce pollution and debris, and expand ‘green zones’ via environmental laws will sustain marine life and habitats, including the Great Barrier Reef.
Great Barrier Beer is produced by Bagara Brewing Company, located in Bundaberg, Australia near the Southern tip of the Great Barrier Reef. With Australian preservation in mind, Bagara brews using all Australian ingredients including its hops, grains, rainwater, and solar energy. From blending to brewing, this beer is Australian through and through.
The initial production of the beer raised $37,000 in crowdfunding, which is the process of funding a project by raising monetary contributions from a large number of people. After additional social media campaigns, The Good Beer Co. raised $62,000 in pre-orders including 38 kegs and 12,000+ bottles. Their education efforts and beer production have remained steady since their campaign began in January so be sure to join ‘The Good Beer Movement’ while in Australia.
Great Barrier Reef: More Than Just a Coral Reef
The Great Barrier Reef, located in the Coral Sea on Australia’s north-eastern coast, is one of the seven natural wonders of the world, named for its immense scale and natural vibrant beauty. It is the world’s largest living organism, made up of nearly 3,000 individual reefs and 1,000 islands that span over 1,400 miles. If measured as a single unit, it would be larger than Switzerland, Holland, and the United Kingdom combined! The city of Cairns, in North Queensland, Australia, is the closest coastal city to the Great Barrier Reef and a great place to begin your visit to the reef.
Thanks to AMCS, the reef was declared an official Marine Park in 1974 and later recognized as a World Heritage Site in 1982. Other natural features of the Great Barrier Reef include:
- mangrove estuaries
- sandy and coral cays
- continental islands
- sea grass beds
- algal and sponge gardens
- sandy and muddy bottom communities
- and continental slopes and deep ocean troughs
All of these features provide a habitat for rare and threatened species of plants and animals which is why protection of the ocean in general is so critical (Cairns Dive Adventures).
Like many of the world’s reefs, the Great Barrier Reef is threatened by warmer waters and more acidic oceans led by persistent changes in our climate. A recent aerial view of the Great Barrier Reef revealed 93 percent of coral bleaching in its northern section. The northern areas are said to originally be the most pristine so it’s hopeful these sections may be capable of bouncing back from the damage. But full recovery is not a guarantee. Severe bleaching means the coral reef could die depending on how long it endures the conditions that are causing the bleaching.
Scientists have been warning that climate change is a foreseeable threat to ALL of the world’s coral reefs. Imogen Zethoven, the director of the Great Barrier Reef campaign for the AMCS, calls it like it is: “We know what needs to be done: a rapid transition to 100% renewable energy; an end to fossil fuel subsidies; the phasing out of coal-fired power stations; and keeping coal in the ground.” The head of the Australian Coral Reef Society, Professor David Booth, even commented: “Australia is like a drug dealer for climate change – selling all this coal, but all the while knowing the harm we are doing.”
Preserve and Protect
Coral reefs all around the world need a global community of preservation efforts. NOT walking on corals, NOT dropping anchors on corals, and limiting the contaminants that flow into our water drains are all ways we can preserve and protect our oceans and marine life including the reefs. You may think there’s no way you can personally help prevent global warming but using energy efficient products and reducing your carbon footprint WILL make a difference!
The Good Beer Co. in Australia is leading by a great example of how to build a creative, influential plan: Good beer, brewed responsibly, giving back to a good cause. I say: Pour me a pint!
P.S. Since they’re brewing responsibly, please always drink responsibly. For more information, visit: www.thegoodbeerco.com.au