Jervis Bay Brewing opened a week before Christmas but was forced to shut its doors for much of January when Huskisson was evacuated on December 29 as bushfires ravaged the South Coast.
No sooner had the business started to get up and running when COVID-19 restrictions introduced in March resulted in it closing its beer garden in Huskisson.
But last week co-owner Christian Wood finally received some great news in the form of a lifeline from Dan Murphy's which is fast tracking stock from Jervis Bay Brewing's beer range into its South Coast stores.
Mr Wood co-founded the business with Paul Walker, Oisin Sweeney and Ben Hutchings who he met after moving to Jervis Bay from Sydney for a sea change with his family.
His mother lives in the area and he has holidayed at Jervis Bay with his children on many occasions.
"We had the idea that Huskisson and Jervis Bay could really use another venue and a brewery seemed to fit the bill".
Jervis Bay Brewing's focus is on making approachable and seasonal beers.
"We have made 12 beers over the last four months," Mr Wood said.
"We started with really approachable stuff like a pilsner, a pale ale and an XPA. Then we made a raspberry wheat beer for the summer we called the Love Boat that went down a treat.
"In autumn we moved into some heavy IPA and our Surreal Saison that is higher in alcohol.
"And now moving into the cooler months we have just released a dark heavy beer in a smokey porter and we will release a stout in the next month as well"..
Dan Murphy's decision to stock its two canned beers, the 11 Days Pale Ale the Bright Idea XPA, in its Nowra and Bateman's Bay stores is a major boost for the boutique brewery..
Knowing how many small producers are struggling Dan Murphy's and BWS have fast-tracked suppliers and new products into stores or online.
They are part of the Endeavour Drinks group which is adding almost 2000 new products to its online and bricks and mortar stores to support suppliers who are struggling with COVID-19 restrictions.
Jervis Bay Brewing is among more than 200 new suppliers, mainly small producers, who have been on-boarded in the last two weeks.
Mr Wood said it was a lifesaver for the small businesses which had planned on its tap brew being the main source of revenue when it opened.
"When we shut we had to look at alternate ways to have revenue coming in," he said.
"Selling cans and selling wholesale cans is one of the ways we chose to do that.
"Being picked up by Dan Murphy's gives us another channel to get in front of more people.
"We still want to be local first and we are starting in Bateman's Bay and Nowra. Which is another way for locals to get a hand on our product.
"We are delivering the cans to both stores on Thursday".
Endeavour Drinks managing director Steve Donohue said the business has been reaching out to work closely with producers and industry bodies to see how it can provide support to beer and wine suppliers at this difficult time.
"Our success as a business relies on the outstanding products that producers around the country create and supply us with, and it's important that we do as much as we can to support them during this time of crisis," Mr Donohue said.
According to Independent Brewers Association, independent brewers are in danger of not surviving the next few months. A recent IBA survey revealed a 69 per cent drop in sales because of COVID-19 restrictions.
IBA chair Pete Philip said the efforts of Endeavour Drinks was helping to ensure the survival of the industry, especially regional members that rely heavily on tourism for their taprooms.
"The more opportunities we have to get indie beer to Aussie beer drinkers, the better chance we have to recover from this crisis," he said.
Australian Grape & Wine chief executive Tony Battaglene also welcomed the increased access to retail sales provided by Endeavour Drinks.
"With many small wine producers struggling to find a route to market due to huge reductions in cellar door and on-premise sales, these initiatives have provided a survival lifeline for a number of businesses," Mr Battaglene said.
Endeavour Drinks is asking suppliers who need assistance to reach out to find out what support might be possible.
It approached Jervis Bay Brewing when it was preparing to open its new Bateman's Bay store around Easter.
Meanwhile the team at Jervis Bay Brewing is still selling beer in Huskisson.
'We are filling growlers and squealers from the tap brew. We weren't sure we were going to be able to do that when everything was starting to be shutdown.," he said.
"But we were allowed to which has really kept us afloat. We are open every day for people to be able to come and fill up their growlers and squealers or pick up our cans as well.
"The local bottle shops have also been big supporters of us since we opened. Now having Dan Murphy's on board is a great expansion opportunity for us".
- Survey of independent breweries raises concerns about them surviving COVID-19
- Wollongong's Headlands Distilling Company expands its range of spirits
- Flying John Travolta's Boeing 707 into Albion Park a priority for HARS after COVID-19
- New same day contact free alcohol delivery starts in response to COVID-19
- With so many bars closed cocktails are now being bottled at one Wollongong venue and delivered to your door
Our COVID-19 news articles relating to public health and safety are free for anyone to access. However, we depend on subscription revenue to support our journalism. If you are able, please subscribe here. If you are already a subscriber, thank you for your support.