From sour IPAs to barrel-aged farmhouse ales (and soon, big bold gins), conscious Melbourne-based brewery, Black Arts Brewers and Blenders, have used Sendle Australia as their shipper of choice from day one.

Why? Because you can ship alcohol with Sendle in Australia, and our shipping rates help make their business viable.

”On average we're saving around $10 per parcel. And, we recently moved our website to Shopify, which makes it even easier to ship orders. Every dollar, and minute, saved goes back into making more beer.”

We took a moment to talk sours and shipping strategy with Black Arts co-founder Chelsie Mew.

 

Sendle’s small biz quiz


Black Arts logo

What is your name, title within your business, and location?

Chelsie Mew | Co-founder | Williamstown North, Victoria, Australia


Business

Black Arts


What’s the sourest thing you’ve ever had?

My partner's family are big on sour lollies (a lolly is candy, if you’re tuning in from the states).

a glass of ale and a bottle of ale

Image source: Black Arts

One time we were visiting them after their trip to New Zealand. They offered us a lolly from Queenstown, very casually, so thinking nothing of it we popped it in our mouth. Before we knew it we were holding back tears while his sister and mum cackled at our pain.

By far, the sourest thing I’ve ever had!


Tell us about yourself and your business

man and woman holding a glass of beer

Joshua Murnane and Chelsie Mew

I’m Chelsie from Black Arts, where we make barrel-aged farmhouse ales and sour IPAs. We’ve also started making spirits, so if you’re a lover of big bold gins, keep an eye out for us.

We’re a very small business. It’s just me and my husband Josh. He’s the brewer and the mastermind behind it all, while I do all the branding and marketing.

What started as a passion project, turned into a full fledged business. Josh used to own a restaurant in Footscray (Fox in the Corn) where he had a huge beer list. Night after night he’d talk to customers about beer, and he started noticing a trend – beer had a real stigma to it. But he knew it was so much more than what everyone thought it was.

One night after service, he sat me down and told me about his idea to start a barrel-aged brewery to bring some variety to the Aussie market. I was instantly on board.

 

Why and when did you start using Sendle?

We’ve been using Sendle since the very beginning. We started selling online the moment we had product to sell, which was back in 2019.

We were initially drawn to Sendle because your rates were really competitive and you’re carbon neutral

When we first launched we only had products in 750ml glass bottles. These are really heavy, so shipping can be quite expensive. Sendle has always been the perfect combination of being affordable and easy to use.

”Sendle has always been the perfect combination of being affordable and easy to use. Plus, Sendle’s free pickup is a massive bonus for us!"

 

What has shipping with Sendle enabled you to do?

On average we're saving around $10 per parcel.

This saving has allowed us to start selling online and meet our competitors shipping rates and strategy.

woman drinking beer from glass and barrels in the background various cans of flavored ale with barrel in the background

Image source: Black Arts

We don’t have the money to hire a sales rep yet, so a lot of our sales come through our online store. If we were having to pay what other delivery companies were charging, we wouldn’t have a very viable business.

Customers are only willing to pay a certain amount for shipping. Anything over that amount comes out of our profit which mostly goes back into making more beer.


Do you use an eCommerce integration?

We recently moved our website to Shopify and the integration makes it even easier for us to ship orders!

We were with Squarespace before that using the Squarespace integration in Sendle’s dashboard. That was really simple to use as well. We’ve always loved Sendle’s interface. But now we don’t even need to leave Shopify to post an order.


table full of glasses with ale and a person in the background with barrels

Image source: Black Arts


What's been the best bit about using Sendle for your business?

The best thing about Sendle for us has been the free pickups. The fact that we don't have to drive to a post office or newsagent to drop parcels saves us a lot of time. The thing about running a small business is that there's always work to be done, so the more efficiently we can use our time, the better for the business.

”We also love how affordable Sendle is. It means we can offer free shipping on orders over $100."

It’s a win for us, because our customers might buy a little bit more, and a win for our customers because they get to try a few extra brews they may not have otherwise. 

The fact that we don't have to drive to a post office or newsagent to drop parcels saves us a lot of time. The thing about running a small business is that there's always work to be done, so the more efficiently we can use our time, the better for the business.


What do you love most about running your small business?

When a customer loves our beer, like really really loves it. That’s always the best feeling.


Where are you in your sustainability journey

I’ve spent some time in the sustainability sector so this is really important to me. We’re constantly doing everything we can to run a more sustainable business. As we grow our sustainability efforts grow too.

We use organic malt from Chris and Sam at Organically Greenwood, a regenerative farm in NSW. Josh recently met Chris who showed him around the farm. It was a really humbling experience. Shout out to Stu from Voyager Craft Malt who set it up and for his constant source of knowledge on regenerative farming.


person in the process of brewing ale person pouring beer from barrel to glass

Image source: Black Arts

Josh is an incredibly efficient brewer. This cuts our energy and water usage when making our beer.

We make sure our waste output either goes to farms to feed animals or gets turned into compost.

We get our oak barrels from wineries and distilleries that no longer need them, saving them from being thrown away.

And, of course, using Sendle helps to reduce our delivery emissions.


What’s next for you?

This year, we’re planning on making more sessionable, everyday drinkers, like our Saison Farmhouse Ale.

person holding a glass of saison farmhouse ale from a can glass of cold beer on a table with people gathered in the background for a meal

Image source: Black Arts

We’re noticing saisons are really growing in popularity at the moment. It’s exciting for us because that’s really our bread and butter.

We’re also in the process of launching our distilling brand too! So keep an eye out for Black Arts Distillery


Do you rip open a parcel, or open it carefully with scissors?

I’m a carefully open with scissors kind of person.

I actually like to reuse satchels when I sell things online. Though, I’ve got to say, I’ve got a lot of empty satchels laying around. Sometimes I wonder if my sustainability hacks are really just a hoarding problem in disguise. You should see how many glass jars I’ve collected over the years! 

In Black Arts, we like to reuse as much packaging as we can. We have a box full of random filler packaging we’ve collected from personal and business purchases. We’re also thinking about how we can reuse the backing paper from our labels and the bags our malt comes in.


Want to chat with us and get your small business featured in a Sendle campaign? Drop us a line here.


Ship sustainably with Sendle

You might also like to read

Customer Stories | 7 min read
April 16, 2024

bakslap’s team is growing, thanks to Sendle savings

“We've just put on another part-time employee and that has directly come from the savings that we’ve got since switching to Sendle.” ~ Raphael McGowan, founder, bakslap
Read more
Customer Stories | 7 min read
March 8, 2024

Get to know these 4 women-founded B Corporations on International Women’s Day

Here’s to all the amazing women who are making a difference and working toward a brighter future! Sendle is honoring International Women’s Day this year by shouting out some ...
Read more

Get small biz tips in your inbox. Join us!

Never spammy, always pleasant.