Andy Williamson, Mark Woollcott, and Alex Gale from BeerBud Photo: Louie DouvisDan Murphy’s plan to crush online liquor rivals
Did you hear the one about the three ex-investment bankers who walked into a bar? They were so bored with ordinary beer brands that they started an online business selling boutique brews sourced from all over the country.
Sydney mates Andy Williamson, Alex Gale and Mark Woollcott quit the corporate life late last year to work full time on BeerBud.
The company has a growing list of craft, or boutique, beers from micro breweries around the country.
The beer is warehoused in western Sydney and can be delivered to any domestic address.
“Friday work drinks always involved the likes of Peroni, Beck’s and Heineken, which we very quickly grew tired of,” Williamson says.
“We had to walk three blocks to the closest bottle shop which had an extremely limited range, purchase an exorbitantly expensive case and carry it back to the office ourselves.
“At the same time we’d all discovered craft beers that we really enjoyed, but found it exceedingly difficult to get them from the city bottle shops.” Beer hunting
The trio searched for an online solution but couldn’t find one, which is how BeerBud was born.
They buy beer wholesale and sell it at retail prices, plus shipping. Premium products include Willie Smiths Organic Apple Cider at $119.99 for 24 bottles and Prickly Moses Black Panther IBA at $94.99 for two dozen.
Some of the beers aren’t for the faint-hearted. “There are guys out there making all sorts of weird and wonderful flavours,” Gale says.
“We’ve got an oyster and mussel stout in stock at the moment. It’s surprisingly drinkable.”
Craft beer is a booming market in the United States and the trend appears to be taking off here. But the numbers are still small.
Williamson cites an IBIS World report that estimates craft beer accounts for about 3.3 per cent of beer produced in Australia and is worth around $220 million in retail sales a year. Total beer retail sales run at $6.7 billion a year. Gale reckons people are attracted to craft brews because of the variety; they can take on just about any flavour.
“We’ve got taco beer which is made with corn, coriander and lime,” he says. “It’s perhaps part of a broader push for people to be more connected to the origins of their products. I think we’ve seen similar things happen in bread, wine and coffee.” Micro breweries booming
Williamson says the number of micro breweries has grown from 40 to more than 180 in the past decade.
But he says the breweries tend to be located outside capital cities, which makes it hard to connect with markets.
“The thing about all of these craft breweries they are all small to medium sized businesses and tend to be in regional areas.
“So the big issues are distribution and consumer awareness, which we’re tackling for them.”
The third co-founder is South Africa born Woollcott, who moved to Australia from the UK several years ago.
All three worked together at corporate advisory firm CMB Capital, where they advised clients on establishing and investing in digital start-ups.
Businesses based on the idea of an online marketplace were taking off and they wanted in.
Other examples include used car website carsales and Dimmi, which allows diners to browse menus and book tables for many restaurants – 3157 in Sydney, for example.
Departing CMB Capital, Woollcott helped run start-up BangTango, which has a deal with Telstra to offer customers pre-sale access to tickets for live entertainment.
Woollcott says BeerBud was the opportunity they had been looking for. “The three of us are all good mates and agree life’s too short to be stuck it the corporate world,” he says.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on 老域名.