How to get free beer.

Sean Power


I don’t know why I did it. But I did.

At 1AM on Monday morning, I wrote an e-mail to the CEO of Australia’s leading brewery – a man I’d never met – asking for some help with stocking the eskies at my 21st birthday. Don’t laugh. I’m serious.

Winding down from a big weekend planning my birthday bash with my Dad, I was contemplating how I could help with the booze buying. It wasn’t something expected from his end, but something I wanted to do from mine. I figured that I’d stolen enough from his shed over the last four years – it was finally time to balance the books.

For a bloke just earning enough to pay rent in Sydney, paying for slabs to hydrate a hundred people wasn’t an option. But then, somewhere in my late night brainstorming session, trying to get the CEO of a ten-billion-dollar company to open up my e-mail and agree to send me a few free brews, seemed like a much more reasonable and rational idea.

I mean – the longest and most successful relationship I’ve ever had has been with one of their products – Carlton Draught. Surely they would remember the name of one of their most dedicated customers?

So before I could convince myself out of it, I wrote up my love letter, CCed in a few of his other corporate mates, and clicked send. And… low and behold… it bloody well worked! I’ll drink to that.

Check out the e-mail exchange below:

Morning Ari, Andy, Jeremy, Peter, Grant and Jennifer,

I’m Sean, a twenty-year-old fella from Northcote, Melbourne.

Please, throw away the board-papers, forget about the ten committee meetings you have to attend to today and stick with me. Even if you tell me to bugger off by the end of this e-mail, hopefully you’ll get a good laugh to start your week.

Ever since I turned the grand old age of eighteen I’ve drunk Carlton Draught (ok, maybe I started a little earlier). My mates were sceptics, “the poor man’s drink” they’d shout. It didn’t matter if you were cheaper – in their eyes Corona and Little Creatures were the only way to go. But having grown up in a house where only you were stocked, I couldn’t convert. So, I’ve stayed strong.

Over the last few years, I’ve drunk many a jug alone – unable to rope a mate in to split one. But slowly times are changing.

Beer, anyone?

Slowly I’m helping convert the lads to your brand of brews. It started with a few free pints. In fact, my eighteenth birthday was only stocked with Carlton as a sign of protest. And now…it’s slowly becoming everyone’s drink of choice.

I am to Carlton Draught what Jennifer Hawkins is to Mount Franklin Sparkling Water – a brand ambassador. Now, here’s the bombshell. In around seven weeks I turn twenty-one. Yep, I’m becoming an adult.

And I know it’s rude to ask…but I was wondering… maybe after the love that I’ve shown your brand over the last four years (and I promise that I will moving forward too) you could help me out? And maybe… you could help hydrate the crowd?

It’s not going to be a huge affair – just family and friends that I love – and a random DJ that I found in the yellow-pages that I hope plays some good music.

My parents are my best mates and are bank rolling this night. My Old Man has been stalking Dan Murphy specials, and we’ve even set up a system to start stockpiling when Draught and Peroni are on special. What a Dad. He’s even started an Excel spreadsheet with the calculations to ensure there’s enough grog. Dry night equals a bad night.

But thanks to my unimpressive bank balance, there’s not a lot I can do to help him. But maybe you could? I promise we’ll drink responsibly.

I’ll Facebook, Tweet and stick a gigantic Carlton Draught flag in the backyard – anything to say thank-you to you for helping hydrate the crowd. And you’re more than welcome to come too, my Mum does a mean bread and dip platter – forget your corporate catering, this would knock your socks off.

I hope to hear back – even if it’s to tell me what a dickhead I am.

Your biggest fan,


And then, much to my surprise, this e-mail from the CEO of Fosters Group, the company responsible for Carlton Draught – Ari Mervis – arrived in my Inbox.

Ari Mervis. CEO of Fosters Group.

Hi Sean

Certainly have to admire your attitude, approach and obvious appreciation of a great beer.

While it’s not common practice to sponsor events of this nature, your efforts at supporting Carlton Draught should not go unnoticed, and I will ask Jennifer to assist by providing you with 10 cases of Carlton Draught, to help start the celebrations (and your father’s spreadsheet), as well as a limited edition Crown Ambassador CEO package, as gift from the Company.

I hope you have a really enjoyable birthday, and a memorable party.

Kind regards,


So, Mr Mervis from Fosters – thanks for reading my cheeky letter and for agreeing to help out. You sir, are a great bloke and deserve to be celebrated. It’s always a surprise when you realise that CEO’s of multi-billion dollar companies aren’t all wankers, and real people too.

I promise I’ll have a drink – or ten slabs worth – just for you. And if I can wash your car, walk your dogs or organise your shed, don’t hesitate to ask.

*Please note this isn’t a sponsored post, nor did Fosters Group have any idea that this post would ever be published.

Sean Power is a twenty-year-old radio producer who spends too much time on Twitter. You can follow him on Twitter at @POWERSOZ. He’s also written about growing up as an Aussie male here, how much he loves old people here, and appeared on Mamamia on Sky News here and here.

Have you ever had a great customer service experience? Do you know of a company that has gone the extra mile to help someone out? What brands are you most loyal with and why?