PULL on your beanie, get your chunky socks on, slip into a puffer jacket and grab a blanket with some mates.
Ballarat foodie guru Kate Davis and her husband Luke Dunne are launching a new movement to support community pubs with outdoor sessions this winter.
Ms Davis said heading out into Ballarat beer gardens was a chance to show the nation what this a city of "hard nuts" can do in COVID-safe fashion to support grassroots business - and, importantly, spend time with friends.
Within one day of making a post on her personal social media channels, Ms Davis said the movement dubbed Ballarat Syppers (Support Your Pub) had fast been gaining traction.
At the end of the day, so what if it's cold? Go out and rug-up for guys who have struggled. Pubs have been hit hard.Kate Davis
"One lady wrote they did this in Canada [in minus-freezing temperatures] so long as you dress right, patio heaters are working and you bring your own blanket," Ms Davis said.
"So many pubs have supported local football-netball clubs and here's a time to give back. Footballers and netballers have such strong communities, imagine if we can get them together and rugged up to help.
"...At the end of the day, so what if it's cold? Go out and rug-up for guys who have struggled.
"Pubs have been hit hard."
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Ms Davis said the idea was sparked on a road-trip with her husband, considering what more could be done to promote pubs under ongoing COVID restrictions.
The Plate Up founder had been sharing plenty about where to eat out breakfast and dinners and places for takeaway, but she felt more could be done to support pubs.
Ms Davis said Australian Hotels Association Victoria president David Canny had been doing amazing work to get the pub scene up and running, but Syppers was a way people could also support making this stronger under restrictions.
Commerce Ballarat figures show for every $100 spent in a Ballarat owned and operated business, $68.53 stays in the community.
Ms Davis encouraged people to find a beer garden mid-week when sales were particularly slow.
Publican Brian Taylor, of Hop Temple and Aunty Jacks, said Ballarat people had been a great support but trends had changed to a mid-week dip at pubs. Mr Taylor said if people had to choose one night to go out, it was tending to be a Friday or Saturday night.
"Ballarat is a tourist town now, it's really become a food and drink scene. A lot of these tourists come from metropolitan Melbourne and Melton and they haven't been able to get here," Mr Taylor said. "...Around the world we're seeing people dining outside and that's an experience. It's great to be able to socialise, meet family and friends and enjoy others' company.
"I encourage people to socialise the right way and observe the rules."
Under eased restrictions, pubs in regional Victoria can have a maximum patronage of 300 people.
Ballaratians brave enough to rug up and get into beer gardens are encouraged to share photos on social media with #ballaratsyppers.