Aussies have been urged to place an order for a pint at their local pub to drink at the venue when it reopens.
Carlton & United Breweries will match every purchase with a free pint, meaning people get two for one pints.
The initiative by CUB and the Australian Hotels Association is designed to help pubs and clubs survive the coronavirus crisis.
Called For the Love of Your Local, the initiative is running across the country. People buy a pint using PayPal to ensure venues get the money quickly and, when doors re-open, they’ll be emailed a voucher to exchange for two pints.
CUB has offered to donate up to $1 million worth of kegs to venues, but this could increase if required.
CUB CEO Peter Filipovic said: “This campaign is a win-win for pubs and clubs and for beer lovers.
“Some venues are facing the prospect of never opening their doors again if they don’t get cash flow. It is an unprecedented challenge, not even during the World Wars or the Depression did the pubs close.
“But we know Australians want pubs and clubs to keep their place at the heart of many local communities once this crisis is over. So if you love your local, or just want to help save the great Aussie tradition of going to the pub, buy a pint of beer in their hour of need.”
The crisis has left Australia’s $20 billion+ pub and club industry reeling. More than 10,000 venues, which employ many of the nation’s 1 million hospitality employees, have been forced to call last drinks for now.
Steven Shannon of Village Belle Hotel in St Kilda said: “We know closing is the right thing to do but it is very tough. To get an injection of funds like this now will help us bounce back when the ban is lifted.
He said the hotel normally employed between 70 and 80 staff but all had been stood down until the pandemic crisis passed.
“Our hotel might be down right now, but if our customers rally, we’re not out!”
Australian Hotels Association Victoria President David Canny (above) said: “Our whole industry has been dealt a terrible blow. But this initiative is a lifeline that provides hope for thousands of hoteliers and their staff.
“For communities, it’s not just the loss of the local watering hole. Local pubs and clubs buy, hire and spend locally. Local charities depend on local pubs and clubs for sponsorship and fundraising. And there’s a whole supply chain from farmers to drivers who rely on a thriving hotel industry.
“I’d ask Victorians to dig deep and support their local, and the whole industry, when it needs it most.
“And don’t just buy one. Buy another one for a mate or relative you want to invite down to your local when it reopens and catch-up about the last few months over a couple of cold pints.”
Any pub that has still not signed up, or for more information, visit https://loveofyourlocal.com.au