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Australian navy delivers 800 gallons of beer to town after wildfires cut supply lines

By KASSIDY VAVRA | New York Daily News (Tribune News Service) | Published: January 10, 2020

An Australian hotel received a shipment of nearly 800 gallons of beer on Friday as wildfires continue to rage across the country.

"The pub is at the heart of regional communities. And a pub with no beer is bad enough at the best of times. After what Mallacoota residents and (firefighters) have been through the least we could do is make sure they could enjoy a beer," Carlton & United Breweries CEO Peter Filipovic said in a statement sent to the Daily News.

Carlton & United Breweries confirmed to The News that the shipment was delivered to the HMAS Cerberus naval base Thursday. The Australian navy then took the beer on the nearly day-long trip, and it arrived in Mallacoota, Victoria late Friday.

"When we were told the Mallacoota Hotel needed beer and we could get it delivered by ship we were obviously really keen to help," Filipovic said.

A department of defense spokesperson confirmed to Agence France-Presse that the beer was not taking up space needed by supplies and rescue equipment.

"The beer is not occupying unnecessary space on HMAS Choules and essential supplies were not offloaded to accommodate the beer," the spokesperson told AFP.

Filipovic said he is uncertain if beer has ever been shipped by the Navy, but that "these fires are an extraordinary disaster."

The shipment included 3,000 liters -- equivalent to a little more than 792 gallons -- of Victoria Bitter and Carlton Draught beer.

Many users celebrated the news of the beer delivery in a community Facebook group.

"Fantastic news," one user wrote.

Another user said it was "Sorely Needed."

Carlton & United Breweries donated four of the kegs in the shipment, and is working to help with other disaster relief efforts across the country.

The breweries committed to raising more than $1 million for communities affected by the fires, including a $250,000 donation, according to a statement from the company.

In addition to giving the town a beer shipment, Carlton & United also donated 80,000 cans of drinking water to New South Wales.

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