KegSwappa | Celebrating Australian Food and Agribusiness Innovations 2021
A chance meeting in a Perth campsite sent two Sydney dads on a mission to create a more sustainable model for takeaway beer consumption. Johnny Tiller and Ashley Freedman became acutely aware of how much waste they produce while camping in national parks where everything taken in needs to be transported out.
The pair started researching the problem and found that the single biggest carbon contributor for canned and bottled beer is the packaging. With the problem clear in mind, they began a series of fireside brainstorming sessions to develop a worthy solution.
The pair came up with KegSwappa, an online marketplace where breweries list kegs for sale in both 10-litre and 20-litre options. Consumers use the marketplace to find and buy a keg before visiting their local to swap out their empty — it’s the same principle as a ‘swap and go’ system for gas, but for beer.
The business plan was developed on the run and the team took a lean start-up approach, developing and launching an initial format, then applying a process of continuous improvement.
The company received financial support from FIAL, which Johnny says was a major catalyst.
“Receiving the funding from FIAL allowed us to invest in the keg hardware and get things off the ground. It also added huge credibility to the project and made it an easier prospect to get breweries onboard once we explained we’d been given a grant to pilot a waste minimisation program,” he said.