TWENTYFIVEFOUR. April, 25.
It’s a day that’s been etched in the Australian psyche since 1915 when troops set out on the shores of Gallipoli to capture the peninsula.
Their bravery came at an incredible cost in loss of life and scars that never faded. And although many things bear no relevance or comparison from then to now, the spirit of Anzac Day has never wavered.
To honour the courage, bravery and sacrifice of Australia’s men and women is a national responsibility and pride to be shared by us all.
Modern warfare has meant an evolution in combat, and along with it an evolution in how we commemorate a modern military.
It’s true, fewer Australians have gone to war in recent decades when compared to WWI, WW2 or Vietnam - but the nature of war has changed. From peacekeeping missions to cyber, intelligence and domestic operations among them, the traditional model of the soldier has shifted out of sight, and with it - public support. Yet their sacrifice is no less worthy of noting.
The number of attendees at dawn services across Australia has fallen by about 70% between 2015 — the centenary of the Anzacs’ landing at Gallipoli — and 2019, with overall numbers eroding well before the COVID-19 pandemic.
ANZAC Day has to evolve to remain relevant. But how? It’s a question that former Royal Australian Navy Clearance Diver Kyle Arnold has been pondering for years, and is now on a mission to see through.
In 2019 he was part of a coffee trial during the Talisman Sabre international military exercise where rum infused hot coffee was being served. After seeing troops walk at all hours to get their hands on the liquid gold, he knew this was coffee like no other. It was then the clearance diver turned innovator had a stroke of genius to bottle the nostalgia as a non-alcoholic version of the traditional gunfire breakfast; merging a little known defence tradition, with a national daily ritual.
The British tradition of topping up a cup of coffee with a tot of black rum before first light was a popular ritual for troops to liven their senses as they charged into battle. “I’m no coffee connoisseur but this drink made total sense on so many levels,” says Arnold.
It’s now a long-faded memory which exists only in the military history books, happening only on commemorative days like Anzac Day as a nod to sacrifices made by Australia’s current and ex-serving defence men and women.
TWENTYFIVEFOUR has taken the product to new levels, sourcing specialty single origin Colombian beans and fermenting them in aged rum and whisky barrels. With the health conscious and performance driven operator in mind, Mr Arnold didn't stop there. While offering his coffee in the traditional 'whole bean' format, Mr Arnold was conscious of the emerging alcohol-free beverage trend here in Australia. Working with local brewers, Mr Arnold took the gunfire concept and brought it further into the 21st century by cold pressing his roast and infusing it with inert nitrogen gas to give it a creamy texture. He knew he’d landed on something pretty special.
“In mid 2020 I started working with a couple of businesses in the Northern Rivers that were canning (their beverages) so I took the coffee beans and we started brewing and I came back with a coffee in a can nitro-ed.
“By cold pressing, we're able to extract more flavour and reduce acidity while still remaining non-alcoholic.
“We were never launching into the market with cans and then overnight it all made sense. So if there was a silver lining with Covid-19 and the impact it had on our plans, it has given us time to focus on our real point of difference.
“To be able to create a health conscience and performance enhancing drink with such a rich history was pretty special.”
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