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After he stopped drinking alcohol in 2020, David Jackson struggled to find a decent non-alcoholic beer when out with mates. So he decided to do something about it.

 

"I still want to enjoy a crisp, cold beer that tastes great, minus the alcohol – and there isn't anything like that on the market," explained David.

"And with most big breweries launching low and no alcohol beers over the past few years, the demand is there, but craft beers are underrepresented so far."

"So I decided to create a range of alcohol-free beers, an idea that progressed quickly, and I'm now working toward building Australia's first alcohol-free brewery," he said.

A family man who's already running several successful businesses, David initially thought adding an alcohol-free brewery and brand to his empire would be like any other venture.

However, he quickly realised he needed to learn how to brew beer by becoming a qualified brewer.

"I originally enrolled to study online, but I found that you can only learn the art and science of brewing beer in a hands-on environment," continued David.

"So when searching for a practical brewing course, I found TAFE Queensland's Certificate III in Food Processing – Brewing (FBP30117) and I was impressed by the teachers, facilities and study areas, so I applied right away."

Impressing him further was how the course supports the Queensland Government's 2018 Craft Beer strategy, which aims to develop the industry, create jobs and open access to new markets.

The combination of the market opportunity, TAFE Queensland's brewing course and how his idea can fit into Queensland's craft beer strategy saw David make a career and lifestyle change.

"When my enrolment was successful, I packed the family up and moved from Sydney to Brisbane. Here I am six months later, a fully qualified brewer using my business skills to revolutionise the industry."

The course taught him that there's a lot more to brewing beer than he first thought, let alone brewing alcohol-free beer.

"I initially thought the course was too hard, but my teachers made it easy for me to wrap my head around brewing."

"Because the theory, hands-on training, teachers, classmates and the brew lab were all sensational, I quickly learnt the technical and practical skills required to produce quality beer, with and without alcohol."

Now David is combining his brewing qualification, business experience and determination to launch something new to Queensland with help and coaching from his former teachers.

"I'm still in touch with my teachers since graduating. They're helping me, coaching me, introducing me to industry people and offering advice on what to do to get my idea off the ground."

Now in the process of finding a site for his brewery, raising the money to buy specialised equipment and creating his brand, David is well on his way to bringing his idea to life.

Eventually, his facility will have the capacity to brew under his 'Beneficial Beer Co' brand while offering the ability to other breweries who want to add an alcohol-free option to their range.

"The quality of craft beers in Queensland is world-class, and I want to ensure that non-alcohol beers of the same quality are on offer for anyone wanting them."

"I'm not telling people to stop drinking alcohol. I am saying 'here's an option that's refreshing, full in flavour, looks, smells and tastes like an enjoyable beer that's also non-alcoholic."

"And thanks to the guidance of TAFE Queensland's amazing teachers, I'm confident I can achieve that," he says.

David is also hoping to create career paths for other TAFE Queensland brewing course graduates.

"Eventually, we'll be an alcohol-free brewery that employs TAFE Queensland trained brewers who create fantastic products, contributing to the growth and success of Queensland's craft beer market," concluded David.


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