A beer called Freedom Day for a time yet unknown

July 29, 2021
By Ioni Doherty

Leading brewer Lion will join forces with Marrickville craft brewer Batch Brewing Co to produce a special limited-edition beer to mark Freedom Day – an initiative launched by the clubs industry to celebrate the day NSW meets the vaccine threshold. 

Earlier this month by Josh Landis, CEO of Clubs NSW and Australia called on the NSW Government to name the percentage of vaccinations needed across the state that would enable life to return to normal. He pledged that on the day that percentage is reached, Clubs NSW will serve up a free beer for anybody who has been fully vaccinated.

To be clear, it is not the day when Sydney emerges from lockdown. It will be the day we reach vaccination tipping point. While no official statement exists for when exactly that day will arrive, Premier Gladys Berejiklian has previously cited a figure of 75 to 80 per cent of the adult population needing to be vaccinated before the virus will be allowed to circulate in the community.

To translate, the Sydney Morning Herald says that, “On that measure, about 5 million people would need to have received both jabs in NSW, but at the moment only 1.1 million people have received both doses.”

So, while there are still a few blanks to this story, there are two things that are known.

We know that the day will come. And thanks to this collaboration, we also know that we will have the beer to celebrate when it is here.

Mr Landis and Co-Founder of Batch Brewing Co, Andrew Fineran, came up with the idea during a catch up with mates over virtual drinks during this latest lockdown of Greater Sydney.

Lion has now come to the party to support the anticipated production demand, collaborating with Batch Brewing Co to make a very special, limited-edition Freedom Day beer for those who have received the jab to enjoy on Freedom Day. 

“We want to make sure that Australians never have to endure another COVID-19 lockdown again. To do that, we need everyone to literally roll up their sleeves and get vaccinated — and what better way to encourage them than with a free beer at their local club!” said Mr Landis. 

“Clubs are all about supporting the health and wellbeing of their local communities, and we are so grateful to Lion and Batch Brewing Co for getting behind this campaign and helping clubs do what they do best.”  

Lion Managing Director James Brindley said he was only too happy to get behind such an important initiative – not just for Clubs and brewers, but for the entire hospitality industry. 

“When Andrew from Batch Brewing Co called me to see if Lion would be able to provide additional production capacity to make this extremely special beer, I couldn’t say ‘yes’ quickly enough,”Mr Brindley said. 

“I think we are all looking forward to celebrating when we finally reach this important milestone. These venues are the heart of our communities, and there’s nothing better than a cold draught beer with your family and friends at your local.” 

Andrew Fineran, Co-Founder of Batch Brewing Co said the idea was simply to give us all some hope and something to look forward to. 

“We can’t wait to work with Lion’s team at Malt Shovel, including the legendary Dr Chuck Hahn, to make something really special to mark this milestone,” Fineran said. 

On 9 July, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) changed its guidelines on the offer of rewards to incentivise COVID vaccinations to say that:

“Any party can offer valuable consideration (cash or other rewards) to people who have been fully vaccinated under the Government’s national COVID-19 vaccination program,” and that “an offer of alcohol must not encourage excessive or rapid consumption of alcohol, have a strong or evident appeal to minors and must be served consistent with the Responsible Service of Alcohol arrangements”.

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