Jack Steele and Matt Ford, better known as the pair behind social media sensation the Inspired Unemployed, have built quite the following in recent years.
The Inspired Unemployed has more over 2.5 million followers across Instagram, TikTok and Facebook, drawing viewers to their videos with iconic Australian humour. Along the way, they’ve been involved in numerous campaigns with alcohol brands in different categories.
And now, it’s been announced that Steele and Ford will be curating a new and very special brand’s campaign – their own.
In partnership with Torquay Beverage Company the pair is launching Better Beer Co, with the first product in the line set to be released in October, and more to come next year.
This brand and its first beer is built around the phrase ‘day for it’, a regular catchphrase in the Inspired Unemployed videos. It’s a no carb, no sugar, full strength beer that is designed to be sessionable and approachable.
National Liquor News asked the boys about the motivation for starting Better Beer Co.
“We’ve always wanted to own our own beer company, we think nearly everyone does. It’s pretty much the Australian dream!” they said.
Having hit it off with the Founder of Torquay Beverage Co, Nick Cogger, through one of their first jobs as the Inspired Unemployed, Steele and Ford said they always kept in touch and this is how the Better Beer Co came about.
“As we grew, we were getting different opportunities in the alcohol space but always wanted to do something ourselves so we called [Nick] for his advice on whether we should take some deals or try do it ourselves. He told us to do it ourselves and then two days later we called him back asking if he’d like to do it with us and the rest is history,” Steele and Ford said.
Torquay Beverage Co, in partnership with Mighty Craft, already has quite the lineup of products with Nosh hard seltzer, K.Booch alcoholic kombucha and Spruce Coffee hard cold brew. Its NPD pipeline is also far from empty, with the brand currently in the midst of releasing a Nosh Cola RTD and set to release Ese, a tequila seltzer ranch water, by summer this year.
Cogger said: “Torquay Beverage Co’s business is built around creating better for you options in the alcohol space.
“When the Inspired Boys reached out, I told them that I wouldn’t be interested in a craft beer brand. I had been working on a concept for a zero carb beer as I could see the consumers starved for contemporary choices in this category.”
Cogger’s original plan was to launch this concept in a couple of years, but hustled to get everything done with Steele and Ford so the brand could make its debut this year.
In terms of how involved the social media stars were, they said: “From the very beginning to the very end.
“We, in collaboration with Nick, have made this product from nothing to what you’ll soon be sipping on come October/November. Easiest summary would be if us and Nick were to shag, this is what our baby would turn out like.”
Better Beer Co will be owned 40 per cent by the Inspired Unemployed and 60 per cent by Torquay Beverage Co. It’s the first national beer release for Mighty Craft, and has already received great support from retail, with confirmed ranging in more than 1500 stores ahead of the October launch.
To support the launch of Better Beer Co and other NPD from Torquay Beverage Co, Mighty Craft has agreed to participate in a rights issue to fund the working capital for the scale of the launch. This move increases Mighty Craft’s equity stake in Torquay Beverage Co from 50 per cent to 61 per cent, values Torquay Beverage Co at $3.6 million pre-money, and sees Mighty Craft appoint one additional director to the company’s board.
As part of the shareholder agreement for the new brand, The Inspired Unemployed will also be responsible for marketing and PR to support the launch and ongoing sales.
Mark Haysman, CEO and Managing Director of Mighty Craft, said: “Creating a new business with the Inspired Unemployed guys is both exciting and powerful given their direct reach. This is the first launch for Mighty Craft in the beer category, which reflects the potential with this partnership.”
In terms of what the Inspired Unemployed boys are most looking forward to about the launch, especially after being involved with so many other alcohol related campaigns in the past, they said: “Just having the complete freedom to do it our way and put work into something you truly believe in.
“We want to build a community for everyone to be a part of and be able to enjoy. We are so proud of this brand and can’t wait for everyone to try it.”