Saturday, December 3

How a serial entrepreneur turned his sobriety into a non-alcoholic beer market challenger

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In January 2020, after experiencing personal struggles with mental health and losing his father and three mates within a 12-month period, serial entrepreneur David Jackson decided it was time to give booze the boot for good. 

A couple of weeks into his journey however, he knew he needed to go further in cementing his new commitment. 

“I thought that if I turned this challenge of not drinking alcohol into a passion, I could create a business which would give me a much better chance of not only keeping my word but turning my struggles and my story into a force for good,” David said. 

This was the light-bulb moment that sparked the idea for Beneficial Beer Co, a new non-alcoholic beer brand with a difference – it would be the perfect ‘inbeertweener’, brewed like a real lager and taste like one too. 

For as long as David can remember, he has always wanted to own and run his own businesses. 

“My Grandmother was an entrepreneur who owned dress shops and hairdressing salons when I was a kid. I’d spend a lot of my time in those businesses with her and still remember being so inspired by what she did, even though I was too young to understand it wholeheartedly,” he said. 

At the ripe age of 11, the Newcastle-native turned this inspiration into a hustle, selling newspapers, washing neighbour’s cars and offering his ‘handy-man’ services to his local Newcastle community. 

“There were no lemonade stands but I’m sure the neighbours were sick of me knocking on their doors asking if they needed any jobs around the house or yard done,” said David. 

While studying Bachelor of Business at the University of Newcastle and driven by his innate DIY spirit, David took on self-employment by promoting and producing local theatre shows, managing bands and booking gigs in Newcastle entertainment venues.

After graduating University and spending five years in the recruitment industry, David started his first business, S2M Digital, a tech and digital-focused recruitment company that eventually expanded into four separate professional services (S2M, ASR Recruitment, LSR Lakeside Recruitment and DSi Professional Services) under the S-Core Group umbrella. 

David and his family relocated from NSW to QLD during the early stages of 2020 so he could dedicate his time to learning the fine art of brewing beer at TAFE Queensland with a one clear goal in mind – brewing Australia’s first and only non-alcoholic lager the right way. 

“There’s so many great non-alc beers out there and the market is well and truly booming, but I couldn’t find one that tasted like a full-bodied, mid-strength lager that I was used to so it was a classic case of, if you want something done right, you’ve got to do it yourself,” said David. 

Soon after, he called on the help of seasoned industry professionals Bruce Peachey (Australian beer brewing heavyweight and ex-Tooheys Brewing Manager) and Matt Johnson (Inside Ideas Group Creative Director and ex-Bluetongue Brewery Creative Director) who went on to co-found Beneficial Beer Co with David. 

With a drive to fill the gap in the non-alcoholic market with a traditional tasting lager, the newly formed Beneficial Beer Co worked tirelessly to perfect the familiar taste profile for their non-alc market gap-filler, the Stone Cold Lager. 

Staying true to the company’s ‘Brewed For Human Kind’ ethos, Beneficial Beer Co’s entire brewing process is offset by a solar farm with traditionally spent grain recycled and used as cow feed. 

“Not only are we producing the only non-alcoholic beer that’s brewed like, and tastes like real lager, we’re doing it as ethically as possible,” said David. 

The first commercial batch of ‘Stone Cold Lager’ was brewed in March this year and has already won Bronze at the Melbourne International Beer Awards for Best Non-Alcoholic Beer. 

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