AUSTIN, Texas — Free beer and protection against a deadly virus? What could be better!
On Saturday, Thirsty Planet Brewing Company hosted a vaccine event. If people chose to get a shot, they got to go home with a free case of beer.
“You know as the numbers started to go up, the frustration started to set in, and we just realized we had to do something," said Brian Smittle, the president and founder of Thirsty Planet Brewing Company. "And I would encourage other business owners to do something, whatever they have. Whether that be an oil change or dental cleaning, or anything they can do. We have beer, so this is what we are offering to help get people vaccinated.”
The brewery, located at 8201 S. Congress Ave., partnered with Livingston Med Lab for the event. They gave out Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. They ended up vaccinating 25 people.
Andrew Litaker, with Livingston Med Lab, was giving out shots at the event. He believes it helps when businesses like Thirsty Planet hold vaccine events.
"I think some fun atmosphere, definitely helps the process of making people feel a little more laid back, to take the jab and help the community," shared Andrew Litaker, with Livingston Med Lab.
He said with the threat of the delta variant, he has seen more people getting vaccinated in recent weeks.
"I think that people who were kind of hesitant before, they have seen the numbers kind of trail upwards, and realized that this is the time to do it," said Litaker.
People at the event had a variety of reasons for getting the shot.
"My employer highly recommended it," said a woman who got vaccinated. "And if it makes like my coworkers more comfortable then it is, what it is."
Smittle said that the delta variant is creating some anxiety for business owners, who have already taken a big hit during the pandemic. He said things have been getting better, and they want it to stay that way.
"We sold 369 kegs, the 10th week when they canceled South by Southwest," Smittle said, looking back. "Three weeks later, I sold five. That's how quick all the bars and restaurants, and everything got shut down."
Smittle said every person who gets vaccinated is helping the community take a step in the right direction. He personally thanked the people that came in to get the shot.
Thirsty Planet is known for its Thirsty Goat Amber, Dance Pants Kolsch, Cosmic Butterfly Kettle Sour and the Buckethead IPA.
To learn more about Livingston Med Lab, click here.