As the hospitality industry continues to adjust to the COVID-19 landscape created by the Melbourne lockdown, local brewers call on the community for sustained support.
Owner of Cubby Haus Brewing in Mount Pleasant, Malcolm Sachs, said the past few weeks have been very difficult since Melbourne visitors were ordered to remain away from the region.
However, Mr Sachs commended the continued support he has received from local customers since reopening the doors to his venue.
"It's still quiet, but we're coping," he said.
"Online sales are slow, but we're still producing and operating the bar which has been really good.
"It is hard... but the locals who drop in for a few beers and a pizza make it worth it. Tourism makes up around 50 per cent of our trade, and with that gone, having people continue to support us has been extremely important."
Looking forward, Mr Sachs says he has big plans for the venue once trading can resume at a more consistent rate.
"We're looking at what we can do to further reopen, but that's going to come down to when Melbourne's lockdown ends.
"Then we can start a more consistent dining experience and introduce live music at least once a week."
He added his relief following the extension of the JobKeeper scheme, which has helped keep his staff employed during the pandemic.
"I can't pay staff without it at the moment... I can barely pay rent. Without continuing JobKeeper, we couldn't operate at all."
While times are tough for all hospitality venues in Victoria, Mr Sachs said he remains confident things may return to normal going forward.
He added his want to participate in the Saturday's nationwide Indie Beer Day event, organised by the Independent Brewers Association.
Both Cubby Haus and Ballarat's Dollar Bill Brewing are members of the association.
However because of the reduced capacity in which his venue is restricted to operate within, 2021's event may be a more likely one to take place at the brewery.
"It's difficult for us, we're a small venue and the craft beer scene is still growing in Ballarat," he relented.
"We'd love to put something on next year when all of this is behind us and people are ready to come out a bit more but right now, I can't put that sort of time and effort into an event like that."
Only the second of its kind, Indie Beer Day and the nationwide synchronised toast to the great indie brewers and venues who have been doing it tough, many of which were dealing with fires and floods before this pandemic began.
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