Dusty the Kangaroo Island Kelpie get his own beer to help farm fire units

FARM FIRE DOG: Dusty the Kangaroo Island Kelpie with his owner Leon Bignell MP and the new Pirate Life Dusty Draught beer. Photo: Pirate Life
FARM FIRE DOG: Dusty the Kangaroo Island Kelpie with his owner Leon Bignell MP and the new Pirate Life Dusty Draught beer. Photo: Pirate Life

One of the iconic symbols of survival from last Summer's deadly Kangaroo Island bushfires has released his own beer to raise money for farm fire units on KI.

Dusty Draught will be the must-have cold can this summer. It is an easy drinking beer that will help quench thirsts across Australia while helping out the heroes of Dusty's island home.

Dusty the Kangaroo Island Kelpie - and his six five-week-old puppy brothers and sisters - miraculously lived through the bushfire that destroyed their home, farm, sheds and vehicles.

Dusty the KI Kelpie brand of Pirate Life draught beer.

Dusty the KI Kelpie brand of Pirate Life draught beer.

Garlic farmer and volunteer firefighter Shane Leahy was out on the CFS truck protecting other people's properties when he returned to find everything on his own farm was a smouldering, blackened mess. Somehow his seven pups and their mum and dad lived through the heat, smoke and noise of the inferno.

Shane kept one pup called Ash. Others were given away to mates. Dusty moved in with local MP Leon Bignell and goes everywhere on the political trail with Bignell except Parliament.

Because he was banned from Parliament House by the Speaker.

Dusty the Kangaroo Island Kelpie at the Parndana farm fire unit registration day. Photo Leon Bignell

Dusty the Kangaroo Island Kelpie at the Parndana farm fire unit registration day. Photo Leon Bignell

Mr Bignell said well-equipped, well-trained farm fire fighters are vital for Kangaroo Island because it can take several crucial hours to get reinforcements onto the island from the mainland.

"Everyone on the island knows how important local farmers and their utes were in fighting last summer's fires," Mr Bignell said. "But it costs money to deck them out with 2-way radios, protective gear and water tanks and pumps.

"Dusty is helping out by partnering with SA beer legends Pirate Life to launch his very first beer label and he's called it Dusty Draught.

"This ticks all the boxes: cute hero dog, a great cause and a fantastic beer just in time for Christmas and summer.

"I've been amazed at how Pirate Life has managed to pull all this together in a matter of days. It's gone from idea to beer almost quicker than Bob Hawke could sink a pint."

Through the purchase of a slab of Dusty Draught, beer lovers will be contributing $5 directly to helping the men and women in their utes who work alongside their fellow farmers and the CFS to fight fires, save lives and protect property.

SURVIVORS: Kangaroo Island garlic grower Shane Leahy with his dogs Socks and Lucy that along with their pups, including Dusty, survived the bushfire, along with his garlic processing shed in the background.

SURVIVORS: Kangaroo Island garlic grower Shane Leahy with his dogs Socks and Lucy that along with their pups, including Dusty, survived the bushfire, along with his garlic processing shed in the background.

In an outstanding showing of generosity Pirate Life will match Dusty's fundraiser dollar for dollar with the proceeds going to another bushfire recovery project on Kangaroo Island.

Pirate Life founder Michael Cameron has been a long-time supporter of Kangaroo Island and he and his family are passionate about helping the island get back on its feet and for the local people to be prepared for and protected from future bushfires.

Dusty Draught is available online now here. Pirate Life will release its stockists for this beer on its Instagram and Facebook pages.

Let's just hope we can get it at the Ozone, Parndana and Penneshaw hotels!

This story Dusty the kelpie gets his own beer to help farm fire units first appeared on The Islander.