Hawke's Brewing pledges economic stimulus package

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Bob Hawke’s beer company pledges economic stimulus package for vulnerable Curtin Hotel

Hawke’s Brewing Co. to help ignite local support for former PM’s watering hole

Following the news of Carlton’s iconic John Curtin Hotel facing possible closure late this year, Hawke’s Brewing Co. is pledging a year’s worth of free beer to the historic watering hole, frequented regularly by the beer company’s co-founder, Bob Hawke, during his days as ACTU president, and now a valued venue for unionists, locals and Victoria’s live music scene.

In an effort to see that The Curtin doesn’t meet the same fate that many hospitality and live-music venues have succumbed to over the course of the pandemic, the former PM’s brewing cavalry have created their own “Economic Stimulus Package” for the pub, should it be saved from the clutches of property developers.

Says Hawke’s Brewing Co. co-founder, David Gibson, “As a Victorian, I was shocked to hear that this iconic Melbourne institution could be nearing its end. As a business owner, I was saddened to think that another hospitality business might soon succumb to an all too familiar fate. And as someone who had the privilege of knowing Bob, I hope our contribution, while small, can help ignite a wave of community support from other local Melbourne businesses, individuals and even artists, who might be in a position to help protect not just an important piece of Bob’s legacy, but an important piece of theirs.”

Hawke’s Brewing’s pledge comes just one day after the Victorian Trades Hall, across the road from The Curtin, stated that they would lead the attempt to rescue the establishment that has long been an institution to its patrons, most famously Hawke, who brokered many of his deals over a beer in both the front and back bar of the pub.

“I have fond memories of The Curtin,” says Sue Pieters-Hawke, Bob Hawke’s daughter.

“On Fridays, the otherwise blokey atmosphere would be transformed by ‘wives and families night’. I would sit at the back bar drinking raspberry lemonade and soaking up the fond attention of the fabulous characters there. It was more than a pub – it was a melting pot of stories, ideas, debate, planning and hoping for a better world. Times change, and apart from this heritage value, it is now a venue for a gloriously diverse patronage of locals, unionists, and a vibrant live music scene. Both are important, and worth a vigorous attempt to preserve.”

Hawke launched the independent beer company in 2017, alongside its Australian co-founders, David Gibson and Nathan Lennon, two homesick expats who had always dreamed of simply having a beer with their childhood hero. The former leader granted his endorsement to the company in perpetuity, with his only condition being that 100% of his royalty share be donated to Landcare Australia, the environmental NPO that he established as national movement in 1989.

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