It’s a sad reality that many men struggle to talk about how they’re going, or to reach out for help when they’re having a hard time. That’s one of the main reasons Trevor Lowder started Craft Beer Coopery in 2017: as a way to bring guys together to have real conversations.
It’s a beer subscription box service, of which many have appeared over the year, each offering beer fans the chance to sample a few different – and at times hard-to-find beers – delivered straight to their door. Craft Beer Coopery’s point of difference is their desire to get mates together to check in with each other as they share the beers.
The monthly packs consist of nine beers (four pairs of beers to share with mates, and one mystery tinnie for yourself), a beer snack, and some notes about the beers and the breweries. Then there are coasters from the suicide prevention charity, R U OK? to help turn the conversation.
The idea is to encourage mates to set up regular times to get together for a chat. The beer acts as the catalyst, and the beers and breweries’ stories get you chatting, and then at some point the conversation can move onto… “So, how are you going?”
For Trevor, the desire to found the business came from his personal journey. The death of his brother led him to go through tough times that eventually saw him dealing with depression.
At first, he was unable to approach even those close to him about what he was experiencing, until he reached out to his wife and was eventually diagnosed with PTSD. After slowly overcoming his own depression, Trevor started to learn about the disorder in Australian men and wondered how he could combine his desire to raise awareness for depression with his love for craft beer.
One day, after sharing a beer and a deep conversation with a neighbour, he realised that something as simple as that – sharing a beer – can spark real talk between men, which in turn can help to combat mental health issues.
The power of repetition led him towards starting a monthly subscription box: if those important conversations don’t take place the first time, there’s always a chance to fall back and do it again weeks down the track.
Since launching Craft Beer Coopery, the service has taken an unexpected direction with the launch of corporate subscriptions; here, companies replace their normal Friday drinks with these boxes of beer, offering Trevor to get his message to a wider audience. He’s also introduced option to “Craft it forward” – to send a box to a mate to let them know you’ll be over soon for a beer and a chat.
Trevor says he’s aware of the need to tread carefully when addressing topics such as depression in association with alcohol. But, since talking about mental health issues and other real struggles is so important, he also sees the value in something that helps people to open up.
After all, just one conversation over beer might make all the difference.
The Crafty Pint is partnering with Craft Beer Coopery to help spread their message through the site and our weekly newsletters.
Members of The Crafty Cabal can also get involved by sharing photos when they’re enjoying beers with mates on Instagram tagged @craftbeercoop and #craftycabal. We’ll pick our favourite each month and they’ll receive a Crafting Conversation Crate in the post.