Endeavour Beverages was launched in exactly the place it should have been — the pub.
In 2010, before crowdfunding was deemed ‘cool’, co-founder Ben Kooyman gathered 35 of his closest mates armed with a business plan, a handful of orders, and the idea for a dedicated beer company that would promise to shake up the industry.
The investment: Endeavour meets Jobs for NSW
Up until late 2016, Endeavour operated more akin to a ‘virtual’ beer supplier, using contract brewing facilities to create their product. And while two full-time sales managers were on-board, they lacked a retail store presence, with ad hoc sales driven via their website.
‘In 2010, our first year, we produced 8,000 cases. In 2015, we produced equivalent to 65,000. We currently have five full-time staff members and going forth, we will grow to seven and continue to keep growing from there,’ says Ben.
To help the company reach the next stage, Endeavour successfully applied for a $300,000 loan under Jobs for NSW’s Accelerating Growth Loans (AGL) program.
The loan allowed Endeavour to establish a microbrewery in The Rocks and execute their export model, whilst creating future-focused jobs.
‘As soon as we saw the program in the media, we jumped right on the opportunity. The application process with Jobs for NSW has been robust, yet efficient,’ says Ben.
‘This loan will allow us to get people back into jobs within an Australian-owned industry.’
The Endeavour difference
‘I had the dream back in 2007 about a new and different way to make beer. After presenting my idea in the pub that day [in 2010], I got two good mates to come onboard as co-founders, and 35 to back me as shareholders,’ says Ben.
The idea was cemented, and shortly after, Sydney-based Endeavour was formed, with the company’s ethos to focus on brewing harvest-led craft beer that would exclusively incorporate Australian-farmed products.
Ben says Endeavour’s point of difference, as compared to other brewers, is their approach to ‘consistency’.
‘99.99% of the world’s beer companies aim for ultra-consistency across decades. We promise to be inconsistent.
‘We want to showcase the best of Australian crops in our beers with a product that is 100% Australian, as opposed to many others, with nearly 95% of Australia’s consumed beer volume being foreign-owned.’
By sourcing premium hops and barley each harvest, and much like a wine, carefully tweaking their own recipe to taste, Endeavour set out to become the world’s only dedicated vintage beer company.
After a three-year search to find a suitable Sydney venue, January 2017 saw the launch of the Endeavour Tap Rooms in The Rocks, featuring a microbrewery, bar and restaurant. The venue will showcase the best of Australian produce while creating new, sustainable jobs in NSW.
Alongside this venture, Endeavour is optimistic about the company’s wholesale export opportunities. While already exporting to Hong Kong, Ben says he is keen to test out more markets.
‘We will continue to sell more beer domestically while pushing for more exports. We have interest from Asia, Europe and the USA, and this assistance will help us to properly pursue those avenues.’
Between growth of their export model and the establishment of their new venue, Endeavour hopes to create over 40 jobs within five years, thanks to their ingenuity and Jobs for NSW’s support.
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