This is a tough one to write about. This year has been a big, steaming pile of tragedy in such a massive variety of ways, and this article does nothing but build on that pile. This week, Brewbound reported that the Texas Craft Brewers Guild has stated that 2 out of 3 breweries in the state could be forced to close their doors by January 2021. If true, you don’t have to be a math whiz to know that this would deal critical damage to the craft beer industry in the state, and possibly the whole United States.
Breweries, restaurants and many other small businesses have been dropping like flies through the current global crisis, and in Texas in particular, it doesn’t appear that things will get better. The Texas Department of State Health Services reported on July 21 via Twitter that “Texas reports 1000+ new COVID fatalities in the last 10 days,” as well as “9,358 new cases per day” (on average). While these numbers are particularly frightening regarding the crisis, the closure of alcohol-based establishments has drawn heavy criticism from those most affected. Most other businesses have been allowed to continue operations under modified rules, whereas all service establishments that draw “51% or more of their sales from alcoholic beverages” close for all on-site services.
The social aspect of the brewery world is arguably one of its greatest strengths- craft beer lovers are generally highly social, and there’s something comforting about being in a small brewery surrounded by hard-working people who love their craft. In the midst of a pandemic, however, it can also be an “Achilles’ Heel” of incredible proportions. If you’re reading this and you live in Texas, be sure to buy local beer and support your local brewery in any way you can. Buy merch, cans, growlers, or even just a half pint. Every little bit helps, and the brewing community is in dire need of support. Check out Brewbound’s more in-depth report on the situation in Texas here.