To support Australian pubs and clubs Carlton & United Breweries (CUB) is rolling out 2,000 barrels of free beer.
The brewer has also doubled its fundraising target from $1 million to $2 million in cash through its 'For The Love of your Local' campaign to help the ailing hospitality industry.
The cash injection will go to Aussie venues that are in need of funds to survive, plus more than 100,000 litres (equating to 200,000 pints) of donated CUB beer to pour for their patrons when they reopen.
CUB CEO Peter Filipovic says despite restrictions easing, many pubs and clubs still face enormous challenges.
"The ongoing restrictions will continue to significantly limit trade and, for some venues, re-opening will have to wait until restrictions are further lifted," Filipovic said.
"Australian pubs and clubs have already been shut for two months and the fact is many of these beloved venues won't make it through this crisis without extra help. So, we're calling on Australians to help save their local and get free beer in the process.
"We've had 2,000 pubs and clubs join already and, if you're a venue that needs help, I'd urge you to sign-up too."
People can support their local by visiting loveofyourlocal.com.au and nominating their favourite venue, then buying a pint of CUB beer using their credit card or PayPal account, with the cash going to the venue directly.
When the voucher is redeemed CUB matches the purchase with a free pint, meaning patrons can get 2-for-1 pints once their local reopens.
A fleet of customised Carlton Draught and VB trucks is also hitting the road this week to help quench the financial thirst of some Victorian and Sydney pubs, selling takeaway tap beer in glass bottles known as "Growlers" from pub carparks.
The lockdown has devastated Australia's $20 billion plus pub and club industry, which is made up of more than 10,000 venues and employs many of the nation's 1 million hospitality workers.
Victorian hotelier Annie Hateley, operator of Drums Hotel, said the coronavirus restrictions had reduced their operations to the off-premise bottle shop and take-away menu.
"With the bar and bistro being closed for nine weeks, our food and beverage revenue is down by about 90 per cent. The support of Government and key suppliers such as CUB has been really important to our financial viability," Hateley said.
"It's been tough for the entire pub industry and it's still a long road ahead for many operators. So, CUB raising $2 million for our industry is a real lifeline for many venues.
"Pubs are the heart of many Australian communities. Patrons are supporting them through For Love of Your Local which speaks volumes for the appreciation patrons have for their local hotel."
Updated at 10:07am AEST on 28 May 2020.
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