Collaborations are a big part of the craft beer industry, but a Coral’ation certainly stands out. It's the name given to a partnership between Sobah and The Good Beer Co that goes to the heart of the two brewing company’s attitudes, by raising funds to support First Nations custodianship of the Great Barrier Reef.
Together, they’re launching the alcohol-free Tropical Lager Coral’ation through Pozible to support the work of the Coral Sea Foundation. The organisation was set up to raise awareness of the ecological and social value of the Coral Sea and Eastern Coral Triangle, which surrounds Melanesia countries such as the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea, and to support its sustainable management.
Sobah founder and Gamilaraay man Dr Clinton Schultz says they’d been aware of the work of the Coral Sea Foundation for some time and were eager to help its mission.
“We’re always trying to look for smaller or grassroots organisations that we can support,” he told The Crafty Pint. “We all know there are a couple of large NGOs or charities out there that are doing work around climate change and the reef, and then there are others that are doing great work that struggle to get the same level of support.”
In 2017, the foundation launched the Sea Women of Melanesia program, which trains women across Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands to use marine conservation to monitor the health of coral reefs and restore and preserve marine areas. Now it's launching Sea Women of the Great Barrier Reef, with the fundraising beer aiming to support as many First Nations women as possible to undertake training so they can help preserve the world’s largest coral reef system.
And Clinton says highlighting First Nations custodianship of sea and land country and how First Nations people have cared for each other and place is really important to Sobah.
“When we heard about the work they were building on,” he says, “about really empowering First Nations women to really take ownership of that space of caring for the Reef, that was really attractive to us.
“The core of what we do at Sobah is creating opportunities for wellness of people and place. We might sell beverages but that’s our mechanism to be able to raise awareness and resources to be able to help.”
In a media release, Tishiko King [pictured on the right at the top of this story], a proud Kulkalaig woman and lead trainer on the Sea Women of the Great Barrier Reef program, said they’re excited the beer will help them launch and grow their mission.
“First Nations women globally play a pivotal role in their communities. And in my sea country and culture we are deeply connected to that, with women tending to and caring for our oceans.”
The Good Beer Co, meanwhile, isn’t new to causes involving the Great Barrier Reef either. The brewing company launched with Great Barrier Beer – a beer designed to raise money for the Australian Marine Conservation Society.
This latest beer has been given the appropriate abbreviation of TLC and is the first from Sobah not to include native ingredients. It's set to be followed by many more new releases, particularly once head brewer Luke Cooper has his own substantial brewhouse upon which to make alcohol-free beer, and more putting their weight behind good causes to come.
“While we aren’t using infusions of natives in this product, it still sticks to our core values of being for purpose,” Clinton says, adding that they're particularly happy with TLC too.
“Not only is it doing some good," he says. "it’s going to be a bloody good beer.”
Every 16-pack of Tropical Lager Coral'ation sold will raise $4 for the Coral Sea Foundation, while all profits from merch sales will go directly to the Sea Women of the Great Barrier Reef. You can support them and order the beer by heading here.