"WE DIDN'T WANT TO CREATE JUST ANY OLD BEER COMPANY, BUT A BRAND THAT REPRESENTS A LIFE STYLE."
"We were literally working 90+ hours a week perfecting our recipe, running sales, accounts, deliveries, events whilst working our bar jobs to ensure we could float our tiny business"
"While it may appear from the outside that we are two blokes drinking beer for a living, the reality is that we have spent the last five years living and breathing Your Mates"
G’day from Your Mates founders Hep and McGarry.
This Australian story represents big dreams, big balls and what mateship is truly about. Our bootstrap journey began like many others; a comfy blue futon, a couple of cold beers and the thirst to create something we could wake in the morning and get stoked about. We would often talk about the dream of owning a brewery, and one particular evening after one too many, the decision was made along with the comment, “how hard could it really be?”. In 2013, we quit our professional jobs, started slingin’ beers at the local bar and began the adventure of a lifetime.
We didn’t have a single dollar in the our bank accounts and didn’t have a bloody clue of how to brew beer, let alone running a business. When we look back at our those early days we realise just how crazy and naive we were! Building makeshift pallet shelves and DIY esky brew kits. We would brew our beer in winter and leave it to sit next to the hot water tank. A shit tonne of enthusiasm but we really had no bloody idea! But you’ve got to make your own opportunities. It was that sink or swim situation we were in that meant although we made plenty of mistakes, we couldn’t afford to make them twice. In other words, we learnt quick because we had to!
In 2014 we rented a small industrial shed in the back of our home town in Moffat Beach. We would bribe all of our mates with beer and pool comps to give us a hand every weekend to fit our little slice of paradise out. Our Moffat Beach brewery was literally built on gestures of mate-ship and support. Having no capital, we took a low risk approach and opted to contract out the production of our beer. Although this business model had no foreseeable profit, it allowed our company to enter the market as the first of the new age breweries on the Sunshine Coast with minimal capital investment. Throughout this period we would test it out at the bar we were working out without telling the punters to gain unbiased feedback.
In 2015, we launched our first beer ‘Larry’ on the Sunshine Coast. We were literally working 90+ hours a week perfecting our recipe, running sales, accounts, deliveries, events whilst working our bar jobs to ensure we could float our tiny business. We were brewing with a Bavarian fella named Bert out in Baffle Creek 6 hours from our hometown. We were always exhausted, but driven by how supportive and passionate all of our friends and family were. Cashflow was always a problem, but the biggest problem we faced (and still struggle with) was not being able to keep up with demand. Although this is not the worst problem, it definitely prevented our ability to grow.
In June 2017, we had a great opportunity to brew the beer ourselves at Macleods Brewing Co. in Maleny. Over the years, Christen had brewed on 10 different systems with a large number of various brewing mentors. We could finally be in charge of our own beer, as well as increase our supply. We quit our jobs at the local and opened our own dive bar in a well-known town called Nambour. Although the area was not a tourist destination, people would travel from all over the coast to visit this bar. The best term to use for the Basement would be a super-polished turd! It was underneath the old commercial hotel, half underground with the ability to have some loud, ear-bleeding bands in there. This move allowed us to focus on our business full-time. The workload didn’t get any smaller and the pay didn’t get any bigger, but at least the beers were free (sort of)!
In 2018, we became the first brewing company in Australia to participate on the national television show ‘Shark Tank’. This was an unbelievable opportunity for our small little brand to pop up and we took it. Although It was probably more nerve racking watching the show go to air than filming it, and although the sharks did grill us they were fair and we made a couple of great mates in Steve Baxter and Glenn Richards.
While it may appear from the outside that we are two blokes drinking beer for a living, the reality is that we have spent the last five years living and breathing Your Mates. We’re not going to lie and say it wasn’t tough and we didn’t have some doubts along the way; but Your Mates Brewing Co. was not only built with out blood sweat and beers, but the whole of the Sunshine Coast, is now in the best position possible to become bigger than we could have ever dreamed. Your Mates represents everything that is good about beer and we love our customers value this as much as us; drinking good beer, with good mates and having a good time doing it!
Our best mate Larry was voted the 13th most popular beer in the country in the 2018 GABS hottest 100 vote and the only other QLD brewery that ranked higher than Your Mates was our friends at Balter. We are still only just starting to send our beer further than our own backyard on the Sunshine Coast and beyond stoked at this huge achievement. Not bloody bad for what started as a couple of average blokes with a crazy idea to drink beer for a living.
Our vision is simple. We believe in mateship, inclusiveness and sustainability.
These core values have guided our journey from the beginning and will continue to do so as we grow. In the last 12 months we have worked with over 14 charities and community groups and have raised over $25,000.
Growing up on the Sunshine Coast, we have been lucky enough to enjoy its unique natural environment and the lifestyle that it provides. We continually strive to minimise our impact to ensure future generations can enjoy our amazing natural backyard the same way we have.
- We exist to drink good beer, with good mates and have a good time.
- We froth on what we do, otherwise it’s not worth doing.
- We work hard, we player harder!
- Our actions speak louder than our words.
- We have an open door policy. Treat everyone like your mate.
- We get shit done!
- What comes around goes around, don’t be a dick.
- We treasure our natural playground.
- Our word is our bond.
- We don’t just sell beer, we’re living the bloody dream!