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.
Postcards from the Edge
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.
Three years ago, KAIJU! founders Nat and Callum Reeves chatted about collaborating with a New York brewery. When the pandemic shut the world down, instead of putting an end to such talk, it sparked Mortal Wombat.
There's never a good time to break your leg, but during a global pandemic while running a regional business is most definitely not good. Yet, with a little help from their friends at Lallemand, Pioneer Brewing turned it into an opportunity.
They're involved in brewing companies, distribution and venues and, in time for Easter weekend, the Drysdales and Canevas opened District Bottle Store in Pascoe Vale. We spoke to Joel about his ups and downs during the pandemic.
The live music scene has been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, longstanding live music supporters Young Henrys have joined forces with Inertia Music to sell local artists' vinyl with their beers.
An initiative providing meals and support for hospo workers impacted by COVID-19 has already provided more than 6,000 meals since launching in March. Will Ziebell spoke to one of the founders of CoViD-19 EAD.
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
Order online and have beer, food (and sometimes more) delivered to your doorstep – it might be the brewer or your favourite bartender making the drop!
Many local breweries and venues have switched to takeaway, drive-thru and Click & Collect services. Swing by, grab some goodies and put a smile on their faces!
When restrictions start to ease, venues will begin to open to varying numbers of guests. Call in for some ol' fashioned hospo!
Grab some beer swag – t-shirt, stubby holder, beanie, glassware, you name it – to show off your love for your locals.
Invest in the future and buy a voucher now you can use at your local later. Or you could consider viewing tickets for a cancelled event as a donation.
7th Day Brewery
Have converted their taproom to a bottleshop and called it '7th Day Cellars', which is open seven days. They have also created three 'Survival Kits' of beer loving bundles that can be ordered online for delivery or pickup.
The taproom is open for takeaways and growler fills seven days a week from 12pm - 6pm. Click and collect is available via their online store and they have a range of free local delivery options available.
You can grab growlers from $25 to $35 depending on the tap beer of your choice, plus there are other specials on their drinks selection, and they're cooking up takeaway feasts and Sunday roasts too. Free, contactless delivery is also available from 5pm daily on orders over $40
The Flodge bottleshop and bar remain open for craft beers (including growlers and tinning machine purchases), spirits and wines, with the tap list updated on their website alongside Lockdown Specials. You can also order food (including $20 Sunday roasts) to be picked up via Click & Collect by calling (02) 9660 1872 or heading to their website. Takeaway booze: midday to 8pm; takeaway food: midday to 2.30pm and 5pm to 8pm.
The Erskineville legends have switched to operating as a takeaway window for burgers and booze. You can still order for home delivery via Door Dash and Bopple too. They're open Wed & Thurs from 3pm to 9pm, and Fri to Sun from midday to 9pm.
Despite the rooftop being temporarily out of bounds, city dwellers can still get a top selection of fresh beer as the CBD institution has begun bottling its famous tap takeovers. Head in on Fridays between midday and 6pm and pick up growler/squealer/can fills from just $12. BYO growler, or buy one for just $2 (while stocks last).
Open for takeaways and offering bonus beers with every COVID-safe click and collect. Also offering free shipping on all case purchases and same-day delivery in the Northern Beaches for orders before 1pm.
You can still tuck into your favourite drinks and pizzas from Public House Petersham, available to order online for pickup (some days from 5pm to 9pm, others from 1pm to 9pm) and delivery to your door.
Their Brewery Bar Bottle Shop is open from 11am until 6pm from Monday to Saturday and selling cases, cans, growlers and merch. Or order online and get home delivery with free shipping for any Sydney metro orders above $30.
Their taproom is open for takeaways only from Monday to Thursday from 10am to 4pm, with an on-site food truckon Fiday and Saturday from 12pm until 6pm. They are also offering weekly lockdown specials on takeaways and delivery, which can be found by checking their Facebook.
The pub might be closed, but they're still on a mission to wine, dine and 69 you – just in your own home. They're running a takeaway window (with DJs) from and you can also order, food, booze (including picklebacks), and their own "Naked" condoms and Wet Stuff "Tickle My Pickle" lube online too.
The Marrickville icon switched to takeaway once lockdown was announced. The kitchen is operating from 5pm to 8pm weekdays, midday to 7pm on weekends, with the bottleshop open daily from midday to 8pm. There are regular food specials as well as meal and beer deals.
The Tav team kicked off lockdown by offering free meals to hospo workers that had lost shifts. They are also serving up food and drinks (including freshly mixed and canned cocktails) for pickup or delivery. Look out for their burgers of the week and extras, such as bonus six-packs, too. You can even add a t-shirt to your order to help them "stock up the fridges and pantries of all our staff that’s lost hours due to lockdown".
The Rozelle boozer team is doing its best to bring the pub to your home, offering growler fills, wine, pub meals, daily specials, and cook at home family meals. They're open Tues to Thurs from 4pm to 8pm, and Fri to Sun from midday to 8pm.
Open for takeaway sales seven days a week and you can use the code "I'm A Local" to get free shipping when you are within 5km of the brewery. They're also doing virtual meat raffles each week and some very amusing videos.
The Woolpack's bottleshop remains open from midday to 8pm daily, serving craft beer tinnies, takeaway tap beer, natural wines and spirits. And from 4pm to 5pm every day until lockdown lifts, they're running specials on CANimal takeaway prices, starting at $10 per litre, and with limited releases at just $25 per litre.
Want to show your support for the local beer community? We've created a series of assets free for anyone to use online or put up in their venues. Thanks to Jessie at Craft Instinct and Sergio at Darkside Studio for their help once again.
The future of local beer – it's STILL in your hands.
BEER SWAG DAY 2021 ASSETS
Want to help spread the word? Here's some print and digital assets you can download for use in the lead up to Beer Swag Day 2021 on March 23.
NB If you wish to incorporate the campaign message or assets in your own campaign or event, please get in touch so we can ensure consistency of message. Cheers!
Beer Swag Day 2021
The 2021 Winners!
Thanks to everyone that took part in Beer Swag Day 2021, helping to turn the anniversary of the nationwide shutdown into a celebration of local beer and the community that surrounds it.
We managed to come up with a shortlist of our favourite entries from around the country – a mix of videos and photos of epic collections (and a very cute baby). Votes for the overall winner were split across a few of the entries but, in the end, the grand prize went to Chelsea Bright.
In 2020, she was the shortlisted finalist for Victoria for an amazing video and narrowly missed out. This time around, she produced promo videos with Brendan "The Beer Economist" Fernandez in advance of the big day before creating another unique video featuring her riding a dinosaur through her new home in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales.
She's since embarked on an epic and rather enviable mission, which you can read about here, and has asked us to spend her $250 prize for her so we're working on some surprises!
The full rundown of finalists, each of whom have received #keepinglocalalive t-shirts, going clockwork from top left above, is:
Our pubs, bars, brewpubs and taprooms turned off their lights as the beer and hospo industry was brought to its knees along with so many others.
But, for the most part, they survived thanks to the support of legends like you who threw your support behind the local beer community.
Now, one year on, it’s time to keep on #keepinglocalalive as Beer Swag Day returns for 2021 – complete with another sweet competition.
Every day is a good day to support local – but let's make March 23 a special time to celebrate your favourite businesses in these still uncertain times.
HOW TO CELEBRATE BEER SWAG DAY
If you’re a beer lover...
Snag some swag
Pick up some merch from your favourite brewery or venue as a way of showing your support. The Keeping Local Alive tees are back too – in black or white this year – ORDER HERE before March 14!
Brag your swag
Show off your favourite tees, beanies, stubby holders and more on social media.
Tag your swag
Tag your local breweries and venues – using #beerswagday2021 and #keepinglocalalive so we can find you! There's prizes for the best posts too (see below)
If you’re a beer business:
Keeping local alive is all for you, so you could consider encouraging your loyal customers to get on board by running a competition, hosting an event, or promoting your merch with a discount. If you're not open on March 23 (it is a Tuesday, after all) don't feel tied to that day – it's the vibe, man.
Whatever you do, keep sharing the message with beer lovers everywhere!
The future of local beer… it’s STILL in your hands!
WIN WITH BEER SWAG DAY!
Last year, Beer Swag Day attracted hundreds of awesome entries from beer lovers all over Australia showing off their hauls of branded clothing, glassware, openers – you name it! From a shortlist of state and territory winners, Sam Beard's entry (pictured above) won the public vote that saw her pick up a swag full of swag.
So, how could we not run another competition?
This time around, we'll be looking for the best, funniest, most creative, innovative and impressive posts to hit socials between March 1 and 23 – tagged appropriately with #keepinglocalalive and #beerswagday2021.
We've got Keeping Local Alive t-shirts for state and territory winners and have put together a panel to judge the best of the best. The grand champion will receive $250 from the Keeping Local Alive campaign to spend on goodies from their favourite beer businesses.*
FIND A LOCAL BEER BUSINESS
As the country started to open up again in 2020, The Crafty Pint team set about adding more beer businesses to their free app as a way to help people wanting to support local.
It was originally created to help beer lovers find good beer wherever they are in Australia, based around a map featuring hundreds of breweries, bars, pubs and bottleshops, as well as stories, beers, events and more.
The COVID-19 pandemic made it clear how such a tool could be handy for anyone playing their part #keepinglocalalive wherever they are in Australia.
There are always new breweries and good beer venues opening – and others making the switch to supporting local craft brewers – so if there's a business missing you think should be in there, drop the Crafty team a line so it can be added.
* You can check out the competition rules for Beer Swag Day here.
The Crafty Pint is an independent online magazine and resource for anyone interested in craft beer in Australia. We bring an honest, old-fashioned journalistic approach to beer's brave new world, telling stories because they're worth telling not because someone is paying us to write them.
Like many of the people who have changed the face of beer in Australia, we believe in authenticity, integrity, enjoyment and love. We hope to play a role in helping good beer, brewed by good people, find its way into the hands of more drinkers.
The Crafty Pint – Putting Class In Your Glass Since 2010