Bob Hawke launches namesake beer

April 6, 2017
By Alana House

Legendary former Prime Minister Bob Hawke has launched a new beer brand bearing his name and face.

Hawke poured the first schooner of Hawke’s Lager during the label’s launch at The Clock Hotel in Surry Hills, Sydney.

Hawke’s Brewing Co is a new venture by creative directors Nathan Lennon and David Gibson. The pair have enjoyed an illustrious career in the advertising industry, including six years at Publicis Mojo and Lowe, where they helped lead high profile accounts including James Boag’s Beer and Football Federation Australia, winning gold in Cannes along the way.

Launching their own beer brand has been a long-held dream. During a stint together a New York agency, Lennon tells The Daily Telegraph: “It was Australia Day yet we were stuck in an office and it was minus 5C outside. Beers in the sun with our mates were 16,000km away.

“Dave and I were chatting about who, given the chance, we’d most like to have a beer with. We both said Bob Hawke. Our conversation drifted to what a beer brand with Bob Hawke might look like, which for us was less about the ­notion that ‘Bob loves a beer’ and more about the values he embodies like giving back to community and looking after your mates.”

The duo recruited former Colonial Brewing head brewer Justin Fox to create the lager.  

Fox told The Weekly Review the brew as an “approachable, inclusive” beer made with new Australian hops Ella, Helga and Topaz. “What we’ve landed upon is a really beautiful clean beer … it’s a refreshing lager – really light, clean, crisp with a really soft top note and really soft malt note.”

Lennon added: “You can have a strong brand but in the craft beer game if you don’t have a quality product then you’re not going to get very far.”

Bob donates part of the profits to a venture close to his heart

In exchange for lending his name to the venture, a percentage of profits from Hawke’s Brewing Co will be donated to rural programs around Australia.

“I’m not making anything out of this, all of my share is going to (environmental movement) Landcare. I said I would do it (launch the beer) on condition that I wasn’t making a profit out of it,” Hawke told The Daily Telegraph.

“I set up Landcare when I was Prime Minister and it was great work and I thought it was an ­appropriate repository for my share of the profits.

“I hope the efforts of this company will not only bring good friends together over a cold beer but also help raise awareness of the great work done by Landcare.”
Hawke’s Lager is available on tap at 11 pubs in Sydney and Newcastle. Cans go on sale from April 25.

The news won’t be welcomed by New Zealand’s Hawke’s Bay Brewing Company, which has been brewing beer since 1995 and took the title of Top Lager Champion at the 2017 New World Beer and Cider Awards this week.

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