A Crafty Way to Tackle Mental Health

MENTAL HEALTH

Craft Beer Coopery brings mates together over a beer to tackle growing isolation and mental health issues amongst Australian men.


Sydney based social enterprise, Craft Beer Coopery, is a craft beer subscription service with the aim of bringing mates together to tackle the growing isolation many Aussies experience, which can often lead to mental health issues. Each box contains nine specially selected craft beers with tasting notes and beer snacks to help craft conversations between mates. The unique service also offers subscribers the chance to “craft it forward’ and send a fellow mate a box to let them know they’ll be over soon to catch up over a cold one.

The aim, to create conversations between mates on everything from the various flavours of today’s craft beer, to who’s footy team will win the premiership. But most importantly, how each is travelling through life’s journey.

One in five Australians have never met their next-door neighbours, a recent survey has found. The loneliness resulting in isolation can sometimes lead to depression, anxiety and even suicide. Difficult to spot and often suffering alone, those experiencing mental health issues can feel calling out for help will leave them stigmatised. 

Founder of Craft Beer Coopery, Trevor Lowder, has battled mental health issues himself, which in turn has inspired him to help others.

In late 2007, with previously little knowledge of what depression was, Trevor began experiencing severe anxiety attacks and thoughts of suicide that would later be diagnosed as post-traumatic stress disorder, caused as result of watching his brother die of electrocution a decade earlier.

“I had no idea what was happening”, said Trevor. “I was certainly far too ashamed of what I perceived as weakness to share my feelings with my wife, let alone family or friends. Without help, things rapidly became worse and I arrived at the point where I felt I could no longer go on. Somehow in that final moment, I reached out to my wife. Help came, but so did the stigma”.

Wanting to help others whilst also spreading his love of good beer, Trevor came upon a solution after crafting a backyard conversation with a neighbour he barely knew.

“While working in the backyard one afternoon, my neighbour Jason stuck his head over the fence and offered up a beer. Over the two hours and two beers that followed I learnt more about Jason’s life than I had in the previous five years that we had been neighbours”, Trevor said.

So, with a tongue in cheek attitude of ‘put two mates together with a beer in hand and the world’s problems will all be sorted in no time’ Trevor set in motion a social enterprise to provide a tool, or ‘lubricant’, for starting conversations.

Through Craft Beer Coopery, every month a subscriber receives a cube of nine craft beers. In each are four pairs of different beers to share with a mate and 1 ‘mystery tinny’. Each cube includes light hearted beer tasting notes, some Anchor Man branded drink coasters and a beer snack, such as nuts or beef jerky.

Anchor Man Founder Steven Gamble agrees that sharing a drink, albeit responsibly, is a really practical way to stay connected with your mates and loved ones. “Having a beer or a glass of wine with a friend can often be a platform for a meaningful conversation. That’s why we’ve provided Craft Beer Coopery with some of our Man Anchor ‘Brew Taboos’ drink coasters – to break down the barriers of those hard to start conversations, to get friends, who might be struggling with life, talking”.

People can choose two options when ordering: a subscription model, ensuring the lubricant is always on hand to craft conversations no matter who turns up, or the option to send a beer cube to a mate to let them know they’re not alone.

Head to www.craftbeercoop.com.au for more information.