Breweries and venues across the country have turned to delivery to ensure people can keep drinking their beer and, for some, those drives aren’t usually too long. Businesses in the inner-city can cast a small net to catch big number of customers but if you’re a regional brewery you’re likely to have to travel a little further.
That's the case for Tumut River Brewing, where they're offering free delivery within a staggering 100km radius of their brewery in order to reach as many people as possible.
“On Thursday, I drove to Wagga, which is more than 100 kilometres and then out to Ganmain to deliver a case of beer,” Michael Cichocki, the brewery's sales and marketing man (and now delivery driver) says.
With venues – including their popular, multifaceted community hub – closed to customers, the brewery team turned to delivering beer, pizza and burgers, with their venue remaining open for takeaways and growler fills.
For some orders, the delivery comes in style: the staff have been tapping into a car collection owned by brewery co-founder Tim Martin's old man.
“It’s good around town but the moment you have go deliver to someone’s farm or something well off-road it’s not so good,” he says.
It's a challenging time but one that's come with a silver lining in the shape of a new audience.
“There’s been a couple of little positives,” Michael says. “You do get people come in and say, ‘Well, I don’t really drink craft beer but I want to support you guys because you’re local.'.”
They might have new customers but, for a brewery and town that normally swells with tourists over the Easter long weekend, the advice that people should only travel for essential reasons has had a marked effect. That this crisis comes so soon after the region faced devastation and a drastic decline in tourism throughout the most recent bushfire season makes it all the more troubling.
“It’s really a day by day proposition,” Michael says of a brewery that's only recently started to focus on selling more beer to local venues and restaurants.
“We were starting to get really good traction and [the impact on tourism] took away the ability of a lot of our customers to make orders because they were quiet just like we were.
“It’s been a bizarre period. What was meant to be our busiest time of year was wiped out by the fires but then Easter was meant to be the next busiest and now that’s off.”
Yet, like hundreds of local beer businesses across the country, they're continuing to dig deep, adapt and have a bit of fun while they're at it.
Tumut's menu and beers can be ordered by calling 1300 042 337 or via the Bopple app. You can also order beer via the brewery's online store.
As part of the #keepinglocalalive campaign we're running Postcards from the Edge stories, highlighting the ways in which people are adapting to survive. If you've got a story you think is suitable – or have something to add to the campaign resources online – get in touch.