There’s a movement going on at the moment. Quite an important movement at that, one to get beer onto Supermarket shelves. This may not seem like such a big deal but we asked the Brewmistress Lucy Corne to break it down for us. This was what she had to say about #letusbuybeer.
What is #letusbuybeer? It’s a grass roots movement backed by the CBASA (Craft Beer Association South Africa) with the goal of trying to change the law to allow beer to be sold in supermarkets alongside wine.
What spurred this on? It’s something that has always bugged/confused Shawn (Lucy’s husband), and I since we moved here. We’ve asked countless people and everyone has a theory but not one person can come up with a good reason why wine can be sold in grocery stores but beer can’t. So a group of us got together and decided to try and do something about it.
Why is it important? There are a number of reasons: It’s about fairness. There is no reason why wine should get such a large advantage over beer and it’s time for a change. People talk about responsible drinking and such, but those arguments just don’t make sense – wine is far higher in alcohol than beer and it is allowed in supermarkets. The campaign is partly about giving small brewers another potential route to market when times are so very tough for many of them. And it’s also about bolstering a better beer scene, where craft beer from a small, local producer becomes the norm. One day I would love to see the kind of variety you can find in an American grocery store on the shelves here…
Wine is far higher in alcohol than beer and it is allowed in supermarkets
Who is involved? The initial campaign was put together by Shawn (Dissident Brewing Co), myself, Greg Gilowey from Beer Country, the team at CBASA (specifically Nick Smith (Soul Barrel Brewing), Troye May (Hashtag Beertime) and Wolfgang Koedel (Cape Brewing Co)) plus some of the media-savvy folk from a few of the larger craft breweries. But we are encouraging brewers and enjoyers of beer to do whatever they feel is the right thing to do to push the movement. It belongs to beer lovers!
Is it only Western Cape based? At this stage yes. Liquor laws are provincial so each province would have to campaign to their own liquor board. Hopefully other provinces will have a crack at it as well!
It’s also about bolstering a better beer scene, where craft beer from a small, local producer becomes the norm.
How do people get involved? The most important thing that people can do is to go to www.letusbuybeer.com and sign the form pledging their support. We are collecting these emails and each Monday we send them on to the Western Cape Liquor Board. So sign up, share, tell your friends and keep supporting!
When do you need people to sign up by? The campaign is running for four weeks, so the last batch will be sent on August 20th. So head to the website and sign up now folks!!
How to help
- Head over to letusbuybeer.co.za and get your name down before August 20th.
- Share this blog post on your social platforms using the hashtag #letusbuybeer to let your fellow beer loving mates know what is going on.
- Make sure you follow #letusbuybeer on Facebook and Twitter for updates.
Let’s get beer onto those shelves.