Darwin’s One Mile Brewing Co has become the first independent Northern Territory brewery to be stocked in local BWS stores.
As part of the deal, all five of One Mile’s packaged core range – including its 4:21,RDO, Otto’s IPA and Pink Lady Cider – will be stocked at 10 BWS stores in the Territory.
Co-founder Stuart Brown said that it took three years for the deal to be worked out.
“Initially we didn’t have the capacity to be confident we could keep up, then it was a case of ensuring both parties were happy with the arrangement,” he explained.
“We are aware of our capacity and will manage it as best we can but would like to see it continue in all venues and hopefully expand further throughout the NT.”
Any further growth will obviously be dependent on sales, but Brown said he feels there is strong support from staff and customers, and BWS agreed.
“Northern Territory locals love One Mile Brewing, and BWS is all about supporting local, so we are excited to be able to stock these fresh, local brews in 10 BWS outlets in NT,” said a representative from the Endeavour Drinks Group, owners of BWS.
Brown explained that deals between independent breweries and major retailers will be determined by the individual breweries’ motivations, location and whether a beneficial deal for both sides can be arranged, but it showed an uptick in consumer interest in craft beer.
“Independent breweries are growing and public support is driving the interest in their products and this is not going unnoticed,” he said.
“[BWS] have been good, and understanding of our concerns as a small business dealing with a large multinational company.”
One Mile Brewing Co
One Mile Brewing Company was set up in 2012 by Stuart Brown and Bardy Bayram. They have been selling commercially for the past six years, having started out homebrewing.
“It took a couple of years to get up and running, we both work full time and operate the business after hours and on weekends,” Brown explained.
“We have a diverse background between us and it was part of the reason for starting the business: Bardy is qualified in refrigeration, electrical, project management and IT, and I have a science background and also completed the brewing course through Ballarat Uni.
“We started as there were limited options for beer drinkers in the NT and people were keen for something different, something fresh that hadn’t travelled 5,000 kilometres in 40-degree heat.”
But while things are looking up for One Mile, Brown acknowledged that it has been a challenging time for breweries and venues throughout the Northern Territory during the COVID-19 lockdown.
“It has been tough, we have been able to operate as a takeaway business throughout the lockdown and while we are down in turnover significantly we have been able to keep some sales coming through,” Brown said.
He said the impact of the crisis was mitigated by the NT authorities.
“I think the Government has handled it well, particularly locally. The re-opening strategy has been fair, bigger venues may have found it more frustrating with distancing and some of the restrictions, but overall I think it has been handled well.
“This Friday sees the restrictions lifted further and will allow all venues to recommence trade with implemented hygiene and distancing policy,” he said.
“The venues throughout Darwin have struggled…we are still seeing less activity in these venues. It is likely to continue, for how long, who knows, but public confidence is growing here and people are keen to get out so hopefully we start to see a turnaround in trade in the restaurants and pubs.”