This certainly isn't a post I ever thought I'd write on Beer O'Clock Australia. It's far heavier than the now seemingly insignificant topic that this blog generally covers.
The COVID-19 outbreak has changed the world forever. The majority of us have already been, or will imminently be, confined to our homes for the foreseeable future whilst we contain the frighteningly rapid spread of this virus. Outbreaks of deadly viruses are dotted throughout human history; COVID-19 will certainly not be the worst nor will it be the last. The difference between this outbreak & previous outbreaks is that we have the knowledge, technology & ability to limit the damage this outbreak wreaks on human lives. The fact that a small proportion of our population are flouting government recommendations is incredibly frustrating & disappointing.
The majority of the population have got the message, however there are still too many of us not doing our best to protect fellow human lives. As many of you know I work in Pathology an industry that is directly impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. I'm a bit fed up with those who aren't doing the right thing; if you don't work in essential services stay inside, stop abusing my staff for doing their job & get out of the way of those of us trying to limit the impact this virus is having on the community (whilst in no way trying to big note what I do - it's just my daily reality currently).
Over the past week I've received a few emails about The Year of Local posts, which have slowed for life & now subsequently work reasons. At the same time I've been thinking about the financial impact that our small brewers will be experiencing over the coming days, weeks & months. We are going to see more closures of small brewers, Malt Shed has already gone, make no mistakes about it. To get through, our brewers are going to need our support. This is a time to think about where your dollars go. Please support independent at this time. Dan Murphy's & CUB will survive without your dollars, the local bottle shop around the corner that supports dozens of local breweries may not.
So where am I going with this? Basically I've realised that now is as important a time as any to highlight local business that others may not be aware of. It's given me a renewed vigour to push on with The Year of Local project & hopefully complete it by the end of the year - it's a massive task but one that I've realized matters to people. If I can influence 1 person to buy some beer from a struggling producer in these times then it's worth my time.
These are challenging times guys. Please look after your health, both mental & physical. Resist the temptation to crack Imperial Stouts at lunchtime. Don't be afraid to sing out & ask for help if you need it; the beer community is a wonderful place & times like this bring out the best in this industry. Wash your hands, calm down, be kind to people & support local businesses wherever you can! We will all still be here after this outbreak if we take these measure now; you want your local brewery to be there too!
Remember it's always Beer O'Clock somewhere in the world!