Lion has announced it will credit pubs and clubs for full, unused kegs that will never see a schooner due to Greater Sydney facing another fortnight in lockdown.
Lion Managing Director James Brindley said the latest outbreak was another devastating blow for an industry already on its knees.
“Beer is fresh and needs to be enjoyed within its short shelf life,” he said. “Our thoughts are with everyone in the hospitality industry across Greater Sydney, and the most important thing we can do is stick together and support one another.
“We hope this initiative will go some way to easing some of the unimaginable burden that many pubs, clubs, bars and restaurants will currently be facing. It truly feels like Groundhog Day.
“We never wanted to be in this situation again, after having had to tip the equivalent of 11 million schooners last year. Once again there will be a large volume of beer in kegs that will sadly never get to see a schooner.
“With the Sydney lockdown now entering its third week, our focus will now turn to preparing for re-opening, and we will be ready with the freshest kegs in the state to welcome their communities back with open arms. We’ll continue to monitor the NSW Government’s response and adjust our support if needed.
“We’ve done this before, and we will get through it again, and we are committed to supporting pubs and clubs – the local venues that keep our communities connected – every step of the way.”
On March 23, 2020, Lion announced it would refund customers for any unused, full, capped kegs nationally – which totalled more than $30 million. To mark the one year anniversary of the original lockdown, Lion declared March 23, 2021 the inaugural National Local Day, and offered consumers a $15 Digital Mastercard to spend at their local on a cold beer or two with family and friends, which saw $600,000 spent in pubs and clubs across the country.
“March 23, 2020 was the darkest day in history for Australia’s pubs and clubs,” Brindley (above) noted earlier this year.
“Not only was it the first-time pubs and clubs had to shut their doors to their communities – ever, but it was also the first-time major breweries like Castlemaine Perkins and Tooheys have ever had to turn off their keg lines.
“Lion is declaring March 23, 2021 the inaugural National Local Day – to mark the anniversary of our local pubs and clubs falling silent – and to celebrate the resilience that has kept them going over these past 12 months.
“We should never take these venues – and the invaluable role they play in bringing Australian communities together – for granted.”
Lion’s Draught Quality team also contacted on-premise customers to offer cleaning procedures for their draught beer systems to keep them in working order and ready for when the green light was given to open again last year. The team cleaned more than 10,000 couplers and taps while working from home.
Lion will refund any kegs bought on 1 June 2021 or after, that have a best before date at the end of July and will review the situation again at that time.