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.
In the space of a few months, Lee McAlister-Smiley, founder of Brisbane's White Lies Brewing, has gone from having no idea how to make hand sanitiser to producing wasabi gin alongside his beers.
The speed at which beer businesses adapted and the rise of the growler were two of the standout features when the first lockdown hit. Now, a new family-run operation sparked by the unique challenges of that time has launched.
This Postcards series has shown how many businesses connected to beer and hospo have suffered. Guy Southern joined Short Batch as they printed #keepinglocalalive t-shirts and we chatted to CraftyMerch about their roller coaster ride.
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.
With venues open again and restrictions eased more than elsewhere in Australia, Alice Springs Brewing Co have been doing their bit to get local hospo businesses going again with their Centralian Care Package.
Now venues are reopening across Australia, two mates keen to get back to their favourite watering hole have devised a new system that allows customers to find out if there's room for them at their local.
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