The #keepinglocalalive campaign sprung into life as Australia's national shutdown approached and helped galvanise the beer industry and the wider community that surrounds it.
While there have been casualties along the way – and some businesses and beer lovers have done it tougher than others – for the most part, we're still standing a year on. As the stories below highlight, the brewing, hospitality and retail sectors proved to be agile, adaptable and innovative to ensure they made it to where we are now: not out of the woods completely, but able to look forward with increasingly, if cautious, optimism.
One silver lining of the COVID-19 pandemic is that support for local breweries, bars and pubs has never been stronger – and we want to see it get stronger still. That comes down to the choices you make every time you buy a beer or go for a meal.
The future of local beer – it's STILL in your hands.
The Keeping Local Alive campaign was sparked by an article of the same name addressing the mounting challenges faced by the beer industry in the week before the nationwide lockdown.
Since then, The Crafty Pint has run a series of articles from the frontline of the COVID-19 crisis in the local beer community under the Postcards from the Edge banner. A mix of inspirational innovations, personal tales and the challenges businesses and individuals are facing, it sits alongside the photo stories on the #keepinglocalalive Facebook page and The Crafty Pint's Instagram as a document of this remarkable period in time – both for the local beer world and the world at large.
You can find all the stories below – and get in touch if you have a story you think should be there.
Pubs and bars in New Zealand open for the first time since March today. Nick Oscilowski spoke to Brian Watson of Good George about surviving the lockdown and hopes for the future of beer and hospo across the Tasman.
After a detour into making sanitiser from cheap wine, Perth's Whipper Snapper Distillery got stuck into one more project before returning to whisky: turning kegs from 21 WA breweries into a one-off batch of Moonshine.
Today, after making it through a world record number of days in lockdown, Melbourne is open again. James Smith and Will Ziebell spoke to brewery and venue owners and returning customers to assess the vibe.
It's a scenario all venue owners have feared since Australia started to move towards reopening: a second lockdown. And it came to Ascot Vale on the day Jimmy's Tap & Barrel was set to open for the first time since March.
What do you do if you're one of the thousands of beer and hospo people forced out of work by the COVID-19 pandemic? In the case of Deb Lieu and James Balboni, you launch a mission to feed others in your position.
Beer tourism was hit hard during the COVID-19 shutdowns, but now venues are open and borders are closed, local customers are keeping Hop On Brewery Tours busy. We chatted to them about beer tourism in a pandemic.
These remain difficult times for employees and business owners across the industry. Look after each other.
For more information or support surrounding mental health issues, you can contact:
* Beyond Blue on 1300 22 46 36
* Lifeline on 13 11 14
* Movember Conversations is an interactive tool from the Movember mental health team