A few beers with your mates is never a bad idea, especially if it’s for a good cause – and that’s the case now more than ever. On Saturday, January 18, a handful of Sydney’s top-flight craft breweries will be taking part in Beer for Bushfire Relief, a day of fundraising across the country to support Australia’s firefighters and the communities that have been affected. So far, there are more than 70 initiatives across six states and territories, and that number’s only getting higher as the date approaches.
Whether it’s a one-off karma keg, or an ongoing effort, below are just some of the cracking producers taking part in this endeavour. For a full list of participants, click here.
And if you’re worried about having to nominate a designated driver, don’t be –Sydney-based wine, spirit and craft beer tour company Hop, Grape & Grain will be operating a donation-based hop-on, hop-off shuttle service connecting a number of the participating Inner West breweries between noon and 8pm. Funds raised will be donated to the NSW RFS, the Red Cross and WIRES.
Where to grab a pint and do your part
The team at One Drop are going all out. Not only are they putting up a karma keg of their Botany Bay lager (with 100% of sales going to support the NSW RFS), but they're also partnering with Trees for Change and pledging to plant a tree for every beer sold on the day. If you haven't checked out this newish brewery down in Botany, this is the perfect opportunity.
Few beers deliver the summer-season satisfaction as much as Nomad's Freshie salt and pepper gose – a German-style beer brewed with buckets of water straight from the sea at Freshwater. It's every bit as refreshing as an ocean breeze, but if that's not your thing, more than a dozen other taps are waiting to be pulled and it doesn't matter what you drink: all of Saturday's takings will be donated and they'll have a donations box up on the bar if you feel like being extra generous.
Wayward started pitching in with a karma keg on January 3, and they had such an overwhelmingly positive response that they decided they'd be tapping one every Saturday afternoon from now until March. Whether it'll be the mouth-puckering raspberry Berliner Weisse, the hoppy Everyday Ale, the clean-as-a-whistle pilsner or any of their other standouts is anyone's guess, so why not go find out for yourself?
The legends at Batch have raised more than $2,000 thus far and they'll keep at it on the day by donating all proceeds from the sales of their epic passionfruit and dragonfruit sour, Pash the Magic Dragon, at both the OG Marrickville outpost and Small Batch, their microbrewery behind Public House Petersham. They'll also be pooling staff tips all January long, so be sure to keep those jars clinking. The sum total will be split between WIRES and the NSW RFS.
Hops are the watchword at Stockade, so this is where to head if XPAs, IPAs and NEIPAs are your weapons of choice. They'll be tapping a karma keg on Saturday, and Baby Rey's burgers are a mighty fine reason to stick around a little while longer. So, too, are the beer "hoptails", like an espresso Martini made with their award-winning Old Money imperial stout.
Young Henrys are always down to lend a hand, and they're casting the net (nation)wide with a pledge to donate 300 cases of tinnies and stubbies and 200 kegs to hospitality businesses around the country raising money over the next two months. To find an event near you, make a quick donation or to request beer for an event of your own, click here.
Mona Vale's Modus donated a whopping $15,000 worth of profits from a fundraiser on January 3 to the Red Cross and the NSW RFS. You can make your dollar go even further by tipping the charmers manning the bar and donating directly when it's your turn to buy a round of that tip-top Sonic Prayer IPA.
They may be half-German, half-French but they're all heart at Frenchies. Their finely tuned and nicely balanced draught is pouring as a karma tap as you read this, and will be through to January 18. Pull up a pew and snack on top-tier chicken liver parfait or pork rillettes for a guaranteed good time.
Few beers go down as easily as the Norman Australian Ale at Alexandria's Yulli's Brews. It's the kind of straight-shooting, crisp, sessionable ale you could drink a dozen of, and it's the beer you'll find in the karma keg on Saturday arvo – so you and yours might do exactly that. Make a day of it and pile the table high with their plant-based delights while you're at it.
Looking for more ways to help?
Australia is currently experiencing an unprecedented bushfire emergency that has, at the time of writing, burned more than six million hectares of land, destroyed more than 2000 homes and killed 27 people and as many as a billion animals. Many Sydney businesses have now stepped up to help out during the crisis, with a number of restaurants, cafés and bars hosting fundraisers.