Steve Russell, founder of WA’s Blasta Brewing, has been honoured in a entrepreneur awards, which aim to highlight the best in the business world in WA.
Russell has been listed in business publication Business News’ ’40under40′ for Western Australia, an awards programme launched in 2002 to highlight the “top 40 young business achievers” including founders, CEOs and business owners.
He has been listed in the medium-sized business category for owners and entrepreneurs for his work on the award-winning Blasta.
“In WA it has been ongoing as a part of Business News for a number of years. They recognise people who have done something significant in WA – charitable things as well, not necessarily in business – but you have to have made some kind of impact in your field, and be below the age of 40,” Russell explained.
After being anonymously nominated for the awards, the process proved to be quite involved.
“You have to give quite a lot of in-depth detail on a number of things, you need to submit your business plan and briefly discuss yourself and your experiences to date, why you think you have been nominated, then talk about notable things you’ve done during the last three years.”
Western Australia has proven to be one of the most consistent states in its support of the brewing industry.
In the past year, a host of breweries have benefitted from funding and grants from the state government as the industry professionalises. It is being accepted as a burgeoning sector with potential for jobs and revenue growth, and this has been extended to honour the founder of one of the state’s best-known breweries.
“WA is very well supported when it comes to the brewing industry,” said Russell, although he highlighted that a lot of the help available most benefited regional breweries.
“Lots of people get those regional grants, but they weren’t available to anyone in the metro,” he acknowledged.
Despite this, however, Blasta has gone from strength to strength since launching in 2018 after Russell’s homebrewing success.
“When I properly looked at the other people in the ’40under40′, there was not many people coming from hospitality and definitely not brewing.
“There are people nominated in these awards who have achieved some significant things in WA and the fact I’m up there with this group of people is a positive and welcome step for not only me but the brewing industry too.”
“There are lots of new breweries opening up and it may be inspiring to them, and it further demonstrates that brewing beer is is a legitimate business environment like all other sectors of business.”
The overall winners of Business News’ 40 under 40′ awards will be announced on March 10th.