The Company You Keep

Young Henrys 

COVID-19 has been a journey into the unexpected for many businesses, but for Sydney’s Young Henrys brewery, a knock on the door from the local police added a whole new surprise to the mix.

In this episode of you'll hear from two of Young Henrys' directors, Oscar McMahon and Dan Hampton, on how this beloved boutique brewery is pulling together, giving back and staving off a pandemic sized hangover. 

Listen below and be sure to subscribe on your favourite podcast app

Young Henrys on pulling together to pull through 

Oscar McMahon and Dan Hampton are two of the beards and brains behind one of Australia's most popular craft beers – Young Henrys.

Young Henrys is an independent beer company based in Sydney's inner west, which set the standard for boutique brewers well before the craft beer scene exploded over eight years ago. 

The team has had a dream run these past few years, but like many businesses, they're feeling the pressure of COVID-19 and have been forced to rethink their business. 

In this episode, the pair openly discuss their initial resistance to producing hand sanitiser but acknowledge it as a way to keep their employees engaged, and on the books – with the help of the JobKeeper wage subsidy. And of course, they couldn't say no to a request from the local police. 

"Having a distillery and having all the pubs closed means that we're actually sitting on a bunch of kegs that we can't sell," explains Oscar. 

"So we're actually emptying what potentially would have become a waste product. We're emptying kegs and distilling beer to actually be the base product for our hand sanitizer. So it's been an interesting thing of 'wait, we're using a waste product to create a new product'."

On navigating the JobKeeper payment with their business and employees, Dan says: "We just have to say to everyone, 'Please be patient, and thank you for your patience and as soon as we know, we will let you know.'"

The pair are honest about the challenges they experienced in the first few weeks of the pandemic.

Oscar explains: "One of the really difficult things that we faced in those early few weeks, is that as legislation and conjecture was changing week to week, having to do a financial model, make a move, communicate that to our team a week to two weeks later, new financial model, new communication, having to reintroduce different processes. And our marketing team all of a sudden they're working from home. Our tasting bar, we can only have a quarter of the capacity. Now we're closing. It was really tiring, and it would have been really tiring for all of our crew as well, this constantly changing goalposts." 

Panel discussion: two unique journeys through COVID-19

Join us for an honest discussion with two My Business’s members – Young Henrys and Spend With Us. Hear their stories, learn from their experiences and have a chance to ask questions about how to survive in these challenging times.

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Disclaimer: Our guests are real business owners and their experiences are their true stories. The guests express views and opinions that are from their own learnings and insights.

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