Victoria is doing it tough right now after Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews put Melbourne into lockdown last Wednesday, but Moon Dog Craft Brewery is sweetening the sour with its Pub in a Box.
Launched this week, the $100 Pub in a Box contains two schooner glasses, snacks and a selection of beers from Moon Dog’s limited releases and core ranges.
Brand marketing manager Brook Hornung said that Moon Dog came up with the idea for the Pub in the Box during the first COVID-19 lockdown, but it wasn’t until the second time round that they were able to implement it.
“Someone had raised the idea last time but we had a fair bit going on so it got pushed aside,” Hornung explained.
“Once we heard the news last week, we looked at what was on that list of things we’d planned to do, and asked ourselves how can we capture the imaginations of people this time round?”
He said that the first lockdown had provided a chance to look at projects that had been placed on the backburner as day-to-day operations took priority.
“We went from talking about setting up an online store for five years to doing it in two days. This time we know what we’re doing so it’s a lot easier – it’s not what we want to do but we know how to do it.”
While the brewery has reopened its contactless drive-throughs at Moon Dog World in Preston and their OG site in Abbotsford, the pub experience will keep Moon Dog in front of customer’s minds at home, he said. After only 24 hours on sale Moon Dog has already seen a fantastic response.
“It went nuts yesterday when we put it up – we were taken aback as to how many were sold already.
“We even sold some interstate as well, even places where people can go to the pubs. People just like the idea of it, it’s fun and I think people are still cautious and it’s kind of a good reason to stay at home and do the right thing.”
He said that the mood down in Melbourne was sombre, but Moon Dog hoped providing a pub-style set up at home would raise some spirits.
“It’s hard to imagine what will happen in the rest of the country in our little bubble down here, but going back into lockdown, people were just getting used to going to the pub and it was quite a shock, people hadn’t gone out much yet.”
This time round it’s a different feeling altogether he said.
“The novelty has worn off a little bit, there was a huge groundswell of support for local and local breweries, and the momentum or community spirit hasn’t quite got to that point yet. I guess we’ll see though, it’s been less than a week and everyone’s in a little bit of shock still.
“Even yesterday when we put the Pub in the Box online we had loads of community support, and there’s a lot less panic this time round.”
He said that Moon Dog was optimistic despite the hard times, which look set to last until August.
“Seeing the number rise obviously is a bit worrying, but for us we’ve got our hospo team back into doing drive-throughs and home deliveries, its been an easy transition back to that.
“People are a little sad but we’ve got lots of loyal customers and regulars that come through our drive-throughs and those people are supporting us and they’ve been amazing.
“We’ll push on, see what happens and come out the other side of this, open our venues again and away we go.”