Adelaide’s Prancing Pony Brewery has decided to rally in support of grain growers experiencing hardship across Australia, due to another year of severe drought conditions.
A new campaign called ‘No Grain. No Food. No Beer’ will see Prancing Pony donate 70 kegs of pilsner to 31 venues across Australia, with all proceeds going to the charity Drought Angels.
Prancing Pony CEO Dr Corinna Steeb said that what happens to farmers affects us all.
“We just wanted to give something back to the people who really are this country’s lifeblood and who are essential to small businesses like ours,” she said.
“This campaign was initiated by two of our brewery employees, who felt strongly about supporting the farming community.”
Since Friday, Steeb said that Prancing Pony alone has raised $799.
Steeb said that with everyone involved, she hopes the campaign will raise up to $40,000.
As Australian farmers face the driest season in decades, the need for drought relief has reached Canberra. The Federal Government announced yesterday a further $190 million for the relief package. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull pledged $12,000 in additional lump-sum payments for eligible couple households, and $7,200 for single households as part of the Farm Household Allowance scheme.
Owner and founder of Voyager Craft Malt Stuart Whytcross, who has been farming in the NSW Riverina region since he was a boy, said that when we think of drought in Australia, we so often think of starving cattle and not scorched crops.
“We don’t think about the dry conditions we’re experiencing even now, and just how much they could affect our grain growers if it doesn’t rain soon,” he said.
“We don’t tend to think of beer as an agricultural product or a product of agriculture.”
Whytcross described just how dire the 2018 season has become. “While the lack of rain prior to and at our usual sowing time saw many growers unable or unwilling to plant and hold out for better conditions, many growers have since sown their crops dry, but if things continue in this fashion there will be no need to get the harvester out of the shed in December.”
“It’s a tough pill to swallow but one we’re used to.”
Having grown up on his family’s farm where they’ve been growing barley for generations, Whytcross said that over the past 20 years, he’s seen some bumper crops and others that were devastated completely by drought and some by frost.
“There’s been years when we’ve had a complete wipeout due to drought.”
“We’re dealing with an agricultural product that’s dependant on mother nature,” he said.
Voyager Craft Malt is an on-farm malthouse, supplying more than 25 single-origin artisan malt varieties to craft brewers and distillers across Australia.
“Our fourth-generation family farm is a dry-area cereal grain broadacre farming operation.”
“We rely on rain, ideally about 270ml, throughout the seven to eight-month growing season, usually April/May through to December.
The No Grain. No Food. No Beer. campaign starts today and ends September 3. South Australian venues had their Karma kegs delivered on Friday and Saturday and kegs to NSW, Victoria and Queensland are going out today.
Here is a list of participating venues:
The Barker Hotel
The Palace Hotel, Broken Hill
Haus Restaurant, Hahndorf
Duke of York Hotel
Keg and Barrel
The Duck Inn
The Colonist Tavern
The Mile End Hotel
The Unley Hotel
The Commercial Hotel
Prancing Pony Brewshed
New South Wales
The Temperance Society Summer Hill
Woolpack Hotel, Redfern
Hotel Spencer Bar & Grill
Far Side Beers
Three Little Pigs Tavern
Peel Street Tavern