Brewery pivots business during pandemic

October 14, 2021 BY

Ocean Grove's BrewiColo has used grants to improve business operations.

BREWICOLO Brewing Co., Ocean Grove’s independent craft brewery, utilised the COVID-19 pandemic to pivot its business to develop an online store, offer drive-thru takeaways as well as to collaborate with other local businesses to deliver gift packs.

The brewing company also took advantage of several grants offered by the Victorian government and the City of Greater Geelong.

BrewiColo used its time wisely applying for the Small-Scale and Craft Program – Stream one, Round Two and the Small Business Digital Adaptation Program offered by the Victoria government as well as the COVID-19 Business Recovery Grant offered by the local council.

“The timing of the grant could not have been better, we had been researching canning machines in preparation to invest in our own and then the Victorian Government opened the Small-Scale and Craft Program – Stream One, Round Two grant applications,” co-owner Kay Godfrey said.

The grant focused on supporting projects to modernise equipment and gain access to new markets which fitted BrewiColo’s brief perfectly.

“Our application focused on the positive impacts investing in the canning machine would have on our business, as well as other local suppliers and community organisations, as we continue to focus on our collaborations program within the Bellarine area.”

BrewiColo also capitalised on the state government’s digital grant program along with the City of Greater Geelong council COVID-19 Business Recovery Grant to integrate their business processes.

The Business Recovery grant was the council’s initiative to support innovation and build capacity of local businesses impacted by COVID-19 by way of investing in the new technologies and digital platforms.

BrewiColo had already been looking to implement a new digital software platform Beer30 to improve its business operations.

“When the City of Greater Geelong applications for the Business Recovery Grant opened, we saw this as a great opportunity to enable us to apply in hope that we would be successful and able to integrate our brewing processes with other business operation,” Kay said.

Beer30 is a digital software program designed to help breweries track data from grain-to-glass.

Whilst BrewiColo eagerly awaits the arrival of its canning machine, Chilla and Kay are already seeing efficiency improvements in the brewery’s operations from implementing the new digital platform.

“We were at a point where these investments were necessary to continue growing however when COVID hit and significantly impacted our business, we were not able to make these investments. So obviously we are very grateful that these grants came along.”

To enjoy a local brewed beer, wine, cider and spirits, BrewiColo Brewing Co. taproom is open to the public Friday to Sunday with an onsite food truck, music on Sundays and the venue is kid and pet-friendly too!

Contact 0484 765 384 to book your table for the weekend.