Hawke’s Brewing releases special beer for Bob’s 90th

December 10, 2019
By Alana House

Hawke’s Brewing Company has launched a special beer – Hawke’s Legend IPA – to celebrate the Australian legend’s 90th birthday.

The granddaughter of the late Bob Hawke, Sophie Taylor-Price (nee Pieters-Hawke), was on hand to honour the former Prime Minister at a celebration at The Clock Hotel in Surry Hills on what would have been his milestone 90th birthday.

Taylor-Price said: “December 9th is rather poignant as it would have been pop’s 90th birthday, so it is a time of self-reflection.  As a ‘30 years of Landcare’ ambassador, I’m committed to carrying on parts of his legacy and encouraging our country to take an even greater stand on climate action and environmental conservation.”

Sophie Taylor-Price pours Hawke's Brewing Company special limited edition Hawke’s Legend IPA

The special IPA will be poured in 50 venues in NSW and ACT until it runs out.

Her grandfather was in attendance for the launch of the beer company at The Clock Hotel in April 2017.

Hawke's Brewing Company launches special limited edition Hawke’s Legend IPA

”The word ‘legend’ gets thrown around a lot, but Bob Hawke was a true legend, in every sense of the word,” said Nathan Lennon, co-founder of Hawke’s Brewing Co.

“Bob was more than just a great leader. He was a kind-hearted humanitarian, a forward-thinking environmentalist and an authentic Aussie ‘bloke’ who could connect with anyone, whether they were a world leader or a cricket fan at the SCG. He has left a legacy that will live on through so much of the good that we as Australians do every day. And who better to help us celebrate his legacy than Sophie Taylor-Price, who shares so many of her grandfather’s enduring values.”

There are currently three beers in the Hawke’s Brewing family: Hawke’s Lager, which won the 2018 AIBA trophy for Best Australian Style Lager; Hawke’s Patio Pale, which won Gold at the 2018 AIBAs in the American Style Pale Ale category; and the new Underdog, an easy-drinking pale ale.

The beers are sold in about 1000 outlets in Sydney and Canberra, with sales more than doubling in the past year.

The company is currently capital raising up to $5 million to build a brewery and hospitality venue in Sydney that will pay homage to the former Prime Minister.

According to the AFR, the venue will have a ”pool room” feel, decorated with memorabilia that documents Hawke’s life.

Sites in Sydney’s inner west are being examined as potential locations.

How Bob Hawke convinced former Lion boss to return to beer

Former Lion chief executive Rob Murray (below) stepped in as Chair of Hawke’s Brewing Co earlier this year.

Murray ran Lion for eight years until 2012 and is currently also Chairman of Metcash and a Non Executive Director at Super Retail Group, Southern Cross Austereo and Linfox.

A few weeks before the brewing company’s namesake Bob Hawke died he asked Murray to get involved in the business.

“Near the end he asked me if I would get involved and help the guys,” Murray told the Australian Financial Review.

Murray said he had steered clear of the beer industry until now, but had been drawn back by his friendship with Hawke.

“I knew Bob well, having worked with him on the board of the Bestest charity for over a decade,” Murray told Beer & Brewer. “This is a rare opportunity to work with the Hawke’s team and help them achieve success in Bob’s name, in a market that I am passionate about.”

Hawke’s Brewing Co is a venture launched by former creative directors Nathan Lennon and David Gibson in 2017.

Prior to establishing their beer brand, the pair 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.

They pitched the idea to Hawke about getting involved in the venture in the kitchen of his Northbridge home in Sydney in early 2016.

Hawke didn’t want a financial interest in the company, but requested that a royalty go in perpetuity to Landcare Australia to help environmental projects.

“We initially didn’t expect Rob to come on in an official capacity,” Lennon told Beer & Brewer. “We’d hoped that we could occasionally seek his advice in some kind of mentor capacity. But after a few more catch-ups, Rob started talking about Hawke’s in terms of ‘we’ instead of ‘you’.

“It became clear that he felt invested in the journey. Rob loved that David and I had given up everything to get this business off the ground and I think, like us, he also wanted to help look after Bob’s legacy. It’s a personal thing for all of us. We’re making decisions from the heart just as much as the head.

“David and I are still in the weeds of the business, wearing multiple hats, and even still out on the road doing sales calls. So it’s important to have someone of Rob’s calibre who can stand back from afar and see the things we can’t.”

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