Sobah thinking inspires healthy options

Sobah owners Clinton and Lozen Schultz
Clinton and Lozen Schultz in their Sobah brewery. | Photo: Supplied by Sobah

By Steve Zeppa

Dry July is just one of the many times in the year Dr Clinton Schultz advocates for healthy, alcohol-free living.

The Gold Coast founder of Sobah, Australia’s first non-alcoholic craft beer company, stopped drinking 10 years ago and through his products and outreach helps others wanting to enjoy a healthy lifestyle.

Clinton, a proud Gamilaraay man and psychologist, started Sobah seven years ago when he found few options for people looking for non-alcoholic beers.

“I created Sobah after two years of being sober and feeling frustrated at the lack of decent adult non-alcoholic drinks available in Australia,” he said.

At the time he was operating a food truck, which used a wide range of indigenous ingredients in its fare. That inspiration fed into a wide variety of craft beers, which he started selling from the food truck.

“We could do that because the drinks were non-alcoholic,” Clinton said.

Today, Sobah, which he runs with wife Lozen, now has a fixed base and boasts an on-site café.

“Nearly all the café items have indigenous ingredients across the breakfast and lunch menu.”

The establishment of the 50hL brewing facility and cafe at Burleigh Heads, which was supported by the City of Gold Coast Investment Attraction Program, assisted Sobah to move production of their popular non-alcoholic beers to the Gold Coast, no longer relying on contract brewing services and creating new jobs.

While Clinton plans to grow the Burleigh operation, the main game is the wholesale and online market for their craft beer, which feature native flavours such as finger lime and wattleseed.

He said they try to source all their ingredients from First Nations businesses.

“If we can’t, we work with farmers and growers we know have good relationships with Indigenous communities.”

Clinton’s charity work extends beyond just advocating for an alcohol-free lifestyle.

He provides local scout groups with his used cans – “we have eight bins on site” – and holds pro bono wellness workshops for disadvantaged youth, using his skills as a psychologist.

“We just had a group of young people through here from a youth justice program and we did a workshop, gave them a tour of the facility and treated them to burgers for lunch.”

Sobah also provides product to community groups for their fund-raising efforts.

“We have worked with Birrunga Gallery in Brisbane. My giving them product 100 percent of what they make goes to the Wayne Weaver Foundation.”

The advocacy work is ongoing and not just focused on a particular month in a calendar.

Clinton said there were heaps of opportunities like Sober October, FebFast and Dry July, the long-standing fundraiser for people with cancer that urges people to go sober for a month, to spread the word about healthy living.

His drive is born out of the philosophies of Gamilaraay Lore ‘dhiriya Gamil’, under which Sobah functions.

Clinton said these include acting from a position of respecting people, place and the environment; understanding and working towards fulfilling responsibilities to that we are connected to; and engaging in positive reciprocity.

“Therefore, we have a responsibility to give back, to create opportunities for others, to encourage sustainable and healthy ways of living, and to assist in bringing about positive changes.”

Sobah cafe dining room
Sobah's cafe in Burleigh.
SOBAH nonalc beer core range 2024_1 1

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