Fire-affected Breweries In Australia Call On Cities For Support By Having A Beer

Fire-affected breweries in Victoria’s high country have jumped aboard a national campaign to support the country’s firefighters and fire-ravaged communities, as the area grapples with millions of dollars in economic losses this summer.

Fire has torn through towns and caused mass evacuations across the region during one of its busiest periods, leaving many without jobs and income usually generated by tourists.

Known for its rolling hills and serene atmosphere, thousands of families are drawn to the area each summer to camp, ride bikes or hike.

But just two weeks ago, 30,000 people fled, as fire threatened the small community and its surrounding towns and valleys.

As fires continue to burn, the area has now been left with near-empty streets and smoke wafting through the air.

“If you look around town we’d usually have very heavy traffic, it would be difficult to find a parking space, but there has literally been nobody around,” Bright Brewery manager, Rupert Shaw, said.

Mr Shaw said the brewery had been forced to lay off 20 casual workers because of the fires.

“What’s gone is gone, and it’s the same for every business in town — the money that would’ve been brought to the town in early January, we won’t recoup,” he said.

Hopes national campaign will help

But there is hope a national campaign drawing attention to the plight of fire-affected communities will have lasting benefits.

The Beers for Bushfire Relief has been taken up by bars, pubs and breweries across cities and towns, and will see profits generated through the initiative go back to fire services and their communities.

It encourages people to head back out to the regions or buy products from regional breweries through city venues.

Bright Brewery marketing co-ordinator Laura Gray said it was a welcome initiative, during such a stressful time.

“It’s helping pull the community back together, and it’s also helping raise the profile of bushfire-affected breweries,” she said.

“Bright and surrounds is still standing, we’ve lost no buildings, just business, and I think a campaign like this will really help us.”