Did you miss going to the pub during the long COVID lockdowns of the last few years? Yearn to see bands up close and personal again? Miss catching up with mates over a lively beer? Join the club… it really was an awful time.
Raising a toast to Coopers Brewery
When the COVID-19 lockdowns hit in early 2020, it impacted two Australian industries more than any other: hospitality and the arts. So many of our favourite pubs, restaurants, cafes, bistros, eateries, nightclubs, steakhouses and bars did it so tough.
Thankfully, as I write this (April 2022), the country seems to be getting used to living with COVID. Even better, the hospitality industry is displaying the green shoots of sustainable recovery.
We’re not out of the woods yet, and labour shortages and prices rises throughout the supply chain are causing their own challenges. However, I’d like to commend and shout-out the team at Coopers Brewery for their laudable efforts (with Live, Loud & Local) to support local pubs and homegrown artists.
Australia’s largest family-owned brewery, Coopers, went out on a limb when foresight was needed. They invested in an online gig series that attempted to recreate the cheerful camaraderie of the local corner pub and to remind people of the crucial importance that the local pub plays in Aussie life.
And to my mind, the series did an awesome job of reminding those of suffering in sad, depressing social isolation of our sorely missed pub culture. Sometimes, you just don’t appreciate what you have until it’s gone.
Live, Loud and Local
Coopers’ Live, Loud and Local was a weekly virtual event hosted by Myf Warhurst and Joel Creasey. It featured pub trivia and cooking on Friday nights along with live music from some of Australia’s best bands and artists.
Live, Loud and Local kept the spirit of the Aussie pub alive by championing venues around the country, showcasing homegrown music acts and featuring top chefs cooking DIY pub-grub.
Hosted by music legend Myf Warhurst and comedian Joel Creasey (having formed a winning partnership as Australia’s Eurovision commentators) it streamed some of the best bits of Australian pub life into homes every Friday and Saturday night for five weeks straight.
The events quickly grew to become Australia’s biggest virtual pub, and Coopers became one of the most discussed breweries on the internet.
Coopers’ Facebook page live-streamed the actions, whilst the Live, Loud & Local website had catch-up episodes, downloadable recipes, and the info required to get involved in the next gig. Australian hip hop favourite ILLY headlined the first, and other acts included James Reyne, The Living End, Jon Stevens and Ocean Alley.
Masterchef guest judge Shannon Bennett also came on board, showing viewers how to make that legendary pub staple, fish and chips, as well as jerk chicken and a beef brisket burger, whilst chef Nick Stanton shared his secrets to fabulous fried chicken.
Coopers also encouraged punters to show support for their favourite local by ordering a takeaway meal to enjoy during the events. The Aussie brewery also gave away a bunch of cool stuff, including merchandise and plenty of Coopers beer.
A different pub took over hosting duties for each event. Participating venues include Leonard’s House of Love in Melbourne, Coopers’ Original Ale House in Adelaide, Sydney’s Coogee Bay Hotel, The Sandbar in Perth, Brisbane’s Story Hotel and The Northern in Byron Bay.
From the talented musicians, to the weekly quiz masters, and of course the pubs we love, we hope Live Loud and Local brings a smile to faces all over Australia,”Coopers’ Managing Director, Dr Tim Cooper
The final Coopers’ Live, Loud and Local saw Creasey and Warhurst at Sydney’s Coogee Bay Hotel, joined by local indie band Ocean Alley. The band, best known for 2018 Triple J Hottest 100 winning song ‘Confidence’, played two sets and were spectacular.
And to much hilarity, Creasey shared another one of his classic ‘Lover Letters from ISO’.
It just shows how much can be achieved with a little Aussie pub spirit, some coughing into elbows, social distancing and copious hand sanitising. Kudos to all involved – very well done from all of us at Eatability.
What’s next for Live, Loud and Local?
Building on the momentum of its virtual events, Coopers Brewery has been cranking up the Live, Loud and Local gig series taking it on the road. The hope is to help pubs and live music rebound from lockdowns whilst attracting patrons back into pubs across the country. The ‘physical’ live gig is alive and kicking.
“Our first series was all about bringing the pub experience into Australian lounge rooms so patrons stuck at home could still enjoy a night out on the couch. Now we want to help bring great Australian live music back to the stage and encourage people off the couch and into their local pub.”
“It’s been a really challenging time for venues, musicians and patrons. Live music is an essential part of our culture as is heading to the local for a social drink with friends. It’s something we’ve all missed. We’re putting together a great series of gigs that will allow fans the chance to see their favourite bands perform live again and support local venues in a socially responsible way.”Melanie Cooper, Brewery Director (& fifth generation family member)
Confirmed acts include Crooked Colours (Perth), The Rubens (Sydney) and Bad//Dreams (Adelaide); whilst Birds of Tokyo, Baker Boy and Boo Seeka are rumoured to be close to signing on.