Former prime minister Bob Hawke launches Hawke’s Brewing Co beer

Want to enjoy a bevvy with Bob? Well, as of this week you’ll be able to – at least, with a beer bearing Hawkie’s likeness, that is.


The former prime minister, who once famously broke the world beer-skoling record in his student days at Oxford, is pouring the first Hawke’s lager today at the Clock Hotel in Surry Hills.

The brew is the first from Hawke’s Brewing Co, and will initially be offered on tap in11 pubs in Sydney and Newcastle.

The venues, dubbed Hawke’s First XI, will include the Lord Dudley in Paddington, the Courthouse in Newtown and the Australian Heritage Hotel in the Rocks.

Australian ad men Nathan Lennon and David Gibson dreamed up the idea two years ago when they were stuck working in a Wall Street office on Australia Day in New York City.

“It was minus five degrees outside. Beers in the sun with our mates was 16,000 kilometres away and homesickness was setting in,” Lennon says.

A year later, the pair were on a plane back to Sydney to draw up a business plan with sales manager Luke Langton and pitch the idea to Hawke himself.

The larrikin Labor politician lent his name to the project on the condition that his percentage of profits went to environmental charity Landcare Australia to help support rural communities around the country.

Despite the gimmicky concept, the labelis backed with proper craft cred in the form of former Colonial Brewing head brewer, Justin Fox, who created Colonial’s Small ale and draught kolsch ale. Made from Australian ingredients in Port Melbourne, the lager promises “a subtle citrus aroma, light bitterness and a gentle, dry finish”.

Can’t schlep it to one of Hawke’s First XI pubs? The lager will roll out across more Sydney venues and other capital cities later in the year. Or if you’re partial to a tinnie, cans are set to hit shelves on April 25.

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