Friday 4th March saw bars across New Zealand and Australia raising serious amounts of cash for victims of the February earthquake.
Not to be outdone, across the Tasman, bars in Sydney and Melbourne also ‘stood a round’ for beleaguered Cantabrians, this despite the fact Australia has had its own fair share of natural disasters of late.
Hastily organised as it was, the event was fantastically well supported by brewers, bars and beer-lovers alike. Each event was locally organised, with prizes generously donated by breweries, bottle shops and individuals for raffles or auctions that were held on the night or over the subsequent week.
David Cryer from The Brewers’ Guild of New Zealand commented: “To have the opportunity, along with our SOBA friends, to pull the brewing community together to show our support financially, but more importantly spiritually, is the silver lining in this dark cloud for our industry and our brewing brothers and sisters in Christchurch. In four days I witnessed six events nationwide and three events in Australia organised from nothing. I sensed the spirit of our industry and a determination to aid those in need from all over Australasia. It was magnificent to be part of! Whilst the funds raised on Friday are going directly to the Red Cross, we will continue to look at projects to directly assist our breweries so badly hit in Christchurch; The Twisted Hop, Three Boys,Cassel & Sons, Harrington’s Brewery, Yellow Cross, Your Shout Linwood and Canterbury Brewery.”
At Bar Edward in Wellington, about thirty items were auctioned including: A day’s brewing atTuatara with Carl Vasta, Malthouse andHashigo Zake goodies, Emerson’s, Moa,Yeastie Boys, 8Wired, Mike’s and Croucherbeers, cases from Regionals, Beervana tickets from The Brewers’ Guild, tickets to Marchfestin Nelson, meals at Logan Brown and significantly and poignantly, a single bottle ofThree Boys Aftershock, the beer that was recovered from the brew in progress when the September 4th earthquake hit. The total raised is expected to be upwards of $6,300.
In Bleinheim at The Old Bank in Redwoodtown, over $4,000 has already been raised with, again, donations from Moa, 8Wired,Renaissance and The Brewers’ Guild featuring in the auction and as kegs behind the bar. Not content with donating beer, Soren from 8Wired was also the highest bidder on two BrewNZ events whilst another bidder went all the way to $450 for a day’s brewing at Moa. Good men!
In Dunedin a fundraiser was held in Tonic bar and organised by the fine folk of Emerson’sbrewery whilst in Nelson, Mic Dover from The Free House ran a raffle with prizes from The Brewers’ Guild, McCashins, Marchfest,Founders, West Coast Brewery, NZ Hops, The Mussel Inn and, once again, Three Boys with another of the last few remaining Aftershock bottles. Totals are still to come in from these two events.
In Hamilton $2,600 was raised at House on Hood with help from Croucher Brewing, West Coast Brewery, McCashin’s BeerNZ, theBeerStore, Chiefs Rugby and Waikato Magic Netball, whilst in Auckland at bar Andrew Andrew, $1,300 was raised from the raffle alone, thanks to the generosity of Cryer Malt,The Brewers Guild of New Zealand, DB, Lion Nathan, BeerNZ Ltd, and Yeastie Boys.
Matt Kirkegaard from Australian Brew News in Australia said: “We were contacted by David Cryer from The NZ Brewers’ Guild and the call to action was picked up by Warwick Little from the Little Brewing Company at Port Macquarie. He immediately donated a couple of kegs and drummed up more support. Matilda Bay joined in and donated 8 kegs, which was a huge effort and then the Local Taphouse, which has Sydney and Melbourne pubs, offered the venue and really got behind it – another huge commitment. We won’t know the total raised till all the beer’s poured in a few days’ time.”
Steve Jeffares of the Local Taphouse in Melbourne and Sydney is also planning a Kiwi SpecTAPular during the week of the Australian International Beer Awards in May. New Zealand Hops, BeerNZ and Cryermalt will be assisting and all funds from this will be going to distressed breweries, this is a wonderful gesture from Steve, a true citizen of our beer community, and once again it underlines this is an Australasian community with very tight links.
Geoff Griggs the President of SOBA said “Last Friday brewers, licensees and beer lovers up and down the country combined forces to show solidarity with the stricken people of Canterbury. This was the first time the Brewers Guild, SOBA and the hospitality industry have worked together so closely and with such urgency and from my own experience in Blenheim it was immensely gratifying to see so many people, both from inside and outside the industry, giving freely of their time, effort and money to support those in need.
Grateful for having escaped the devastating earthquake, I still feel somehow guilty and ashamed that my life is continuing as normal while fellow Kiwis are experiencing so much pain and suffering, it is wonderful to be a part of something so worthwhile.
To witness so many people united by their love of beer eager to do something for the beleaguered people of Christchurch is a memory I’ll cherish forever.”
Press Officer, SOBA
Issued on behalf of The Brewers’ Guild of New Zealand and The Society of Beer Advocates.