Ask A Brewer: Pandemic Update

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Photo Cred: Ian Steele – Pictured: A buttload of crowlers!

It’s been a while since I’ve put up an ask a brewer post, but this week, it felt necessary. As the holiday season swings in full, many small businesses, particularly breweries and distilleries, are being hit with COVID restrictions again. We have seen it go on all year long, with the brewery obituary lists growing, state by state. The vaccine is starting to roll out now, and regardless of how you feel about it, it brings with it a little light on the horizon, a small glimmer of hope to end this Groundhog Day-like existence. 

With all of that said, we all need to recognize that small breweries are hurting again. We all stressed time and again how important it would be to get out and support local during the first round of closures, but nobody predicted the complacency that would come with the second round. Craft beer enthusiasts have a strength of passion shared by few others on such a wide scale, and by comparison, nobody supports local better than beer fans. However, the exhaustion that the pandemic has brought on us all has resulted in deflation of excitement across the board. The light on the horizon has strangely resulted in the fading out of the importance of supporting local. I’m no sociologist, so I can only guess as to the reasons why. From my standpoint, the light on the horizon means that people are probably thinking “we’ll all be fine soon enough.”

I’m here to tell you that this is the furthest thing from the case (of beer, ba dum tssssss, eye-roll). Think of any race you ran as a child, or think of any track meet YouTube video that went viral- the home stretch is the most important. It’s where complacency and ego can so quickly result in loss. If you take anything away from this article, please take this: your local brewery is hurting. They may have people in often, and they may be doing solid t-go sales, but I can tell you from behind the curtain that it pales in comparison to normal operating numbers. The best part of this otherwise somber article is that in supporting your local brewery, you also get to drink delicious beer. Win-win. So, FueledFam, I challenge you to get out there and make a couple brewery stops. Just a crowler here and there can go a long way. Do what you can, and let’s keep as many taps flowing as we possibly can. Cheers to the end of an awful year, and a toast to the roaring 20s that will soon be upon us.

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