Lion has partnered with AHA NSW to help struggling venues sell take-away draught beer as part of the Support Your Local campaign.
The move follows Lion’s announcement last month that it would offer pubs credit for any unused kegs due to COVID-19 shutdown. Lion has now credited more than 4000 customers nationally a total of $23.5 million for more than 85,000 unused and capped kegs.
Lion has also committed to deliver 10,000 “growlers” and caps, and 500 dispensers to hundreds of pubs, free of charge. This means millions of litres of beer won’t go to waste during the Support Your Local campaign.
AHA NSW CEO John Whelan said the initiative would help keep many NSW pubs in business and their staff in jobs during the most difficult time in their history.
“Hotels across NSW have been shut for almost a month now and I know many people are missing a draught beer down at their local with mates,” he said.
“We can’t quite do that yet, but a cold draught beer to take-away is certainly next best.”
“Hotels are the hearts of their communities – especially in regional and suburban areas – and the truth is many are struggling to survive with take-away sales the only form of income.
“This move by Lion will particularly help out many of the small local pubs at a time when they need it most. I thank James Brindley and his team at Lion for this great initiative. Not only does it provide an immediate boost to venues, it prevents millions of litres of draught beer literally going down the drain.”
Lion Managing Director James Brindley (above) said: “We knew many pubs would have tapped kegs sitting in their cool rooms they would still need to get through, and this initiative will make that possible.
“We have also supported pubs with cleaning procedures for their draught beer systems to keep them in working order, ready and able to open up quickly again when the time comes. Our draught quality team has now cleaned 10,000 couplers and taps for our on-premise customers, and this number will keep growing.”
Furphy virtual pub launches
Lion is launching Furphy Fridays at 5.30pm AEST every Friday night from April 24 – May 29.
Each Friday, the virtual pub will host up to 1000 people who will be able to share a beer and a tall tale with some familiar faces.
The inaugural virtual pub experience will be hosted by actor, author, host and comedian Matt Okine, and Australian cricketer Aaron Finch.
Furphy Brand Director Malcolm Eadie said: “While we can’t physically be with our mates to connect and share stories from the working week, this will be the next best thing as we navigate this period of physical distancing.
“While our favourite pubs and bars are shut, people are forced to enjoy their Friday Furphy remotely in some pretty dull settings. We are stepping in to bring people together for an hour of great stories, pub traditions and entertainment – as we all try to stay digitally connected.”
During the hour, three furphies will be told: one by Matt Okine, one by an audience member, and one by a mystery guest, with pub-goers using the clues behind the bar to try and guess the guest before their identity is revealed.
Another great Aussie pub tradition will also live on through the Furphy Fridays virtual pub, with one lucky guest to win a meat tray each week.
A virtual tip jar will allow patrons to rate their hosts’ hospitality, with contributions going to GIVIT’s COVID-19 relief fund, which Furphy will match dollar-for-dollar.