Melbourne-based mechanical engineer turned ‘beerpreneur’, Julian Sanders, has no doubt that beer culture is here to stay, and says its future is ‘frothing’ with potential.
When you work in breweries all day, every day — as Julian did as the mastermind behind Spark, one of Australia’s biggest designer of breweries — he became inspired to solve the conundrum of enjoying beer culture without getting drunk. UpFlow Brewing Collective was the perfect solution.
“UpFlow Brewing Collective’s mission is to lead the full-flavoured non-alcoholic space globally,” says Julian, making it clear he’s a man with an ambitious plan. “And the way we’ll do that is to work with Amazon globally to grow in the largest countries across the world, over time, together.”
Crafting full-flavoured non-alcoholic beer is no mean feat and requires rigorous innovation. “It’s technically difficult,” he says. “It’s one of the holy grails of brewing — to make a non-alcoholic beer that has flavour. And we’ve done just that.”
Originally launched in London before Covid-19 hit, UpFlow Brewing Collective debuted to Aussie beer-drinkers in July last year.
Determined to forge ahead despite the global pandemic unfolding around them, they took it one step further again and organised the inaugural Flow Festival — Australia’s first non-alcoholic beer festival.
As if 2020 wasn’t busy enough, they also developed a brand new, world-first product category after spotting a gap in the market. “We noticed lots of sportspeople love drinking beer and celebrating, but still needed to perform,” explains Julian. “So we developed a range of non-alcoholic rehydration beers containing minerals and electrolytes that can rehydrate better than water.”
It was this ingenious way of thinking about drinking beer as something that’s actually good for you— combined with innovative products and a dedicated team of brewers that live and breathe beer — that put UpFlow Brewing Collective in the perfect stead to take out a 2021 Amazon Launchpad Innovation Grant.
Worth over $200,000, the grant includes a $20,000 cash injection, marketing support, advertising packages, mentorship from Amazon Australia experts, and industry networking opportunities.
“The biggest impact for us will be the breathing space that it gives us,” says Julian, excitedly. “Alongside the resources we’ll have at our disposal, this grant will enable us to create a business much more powerful and valuable to our customers than we would have been able to otherwise.”
UpFlow Brewing Collective began selling on Amazon.com.au just four months ago. “We’re already seeing growth,” he reflects. “It’s the right place to be. Amazon.com.au empowers us to reach customers effectively and share our products with a larger audience - building brand awareness of what we do.”
Next, Julian has his sights set on conquering the European and US and harnessing the support of Amazon is key to achieving this goal. “Ten years ago I wouldn't have had the potential to be a global business,” he reflects. “But with Amazon I can. Now it’s up to us to go and create the brew of the future.”
Amazon Launchpad is Amazon’s program to help startups and entrepreneurs grow their business online. It helps with inventory management, order fulfilment, customer service, and marketing support, allowing brands to focus their efforts on the innovation that results in more unique products.
Check out UpFlow and other Amazon Launchpad Innovation Grant Winners - here