With each day as the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak worsens, restrictions on our day-to-day life become more and more intrusive. For small businesses like craft breweries and cideries, these measures have resulted in closures, lay-offs and fears of bankruptcy.
There is the very real possibility that your favourite local craft brewery may not survive COVID-19.
The industry is facing unprecedented uncertainty. Leases and bank loans still need to be paid, and while the federal government has made promises to help out small businesses, massive multi-billion dollar programs obviously take time to roll out.
“The breweries that are going to be in the worst shape are the smallest ones and the most draught and tasting room-oriented ones,” says Dageraad’s Ben Coli. “We’re basically only selling packaged product these days, both from the tasting room and through wholesale. Breweries that aren’t big into packaged product are in the most trouble.”
We can all help support our favourite local craft breweries and cideries by stocking up and helping them keep their cash flow going. Lord knows we could all use a drink.
Here are a few easy ways to help ensure your local craft brewery makes it through these troubling times.
While many—if not all—craft breweries have closed down their tasting rooms and kitchens for the foreseeable future due the provincial order against public gatherings, most are still open for retail sales. Go down and grab a six-pack—or better yet, a flat. With weeks of quarantine likely ahead of us, you don’t want to run dry. Some breweries, like Delta’s Four Winds Brewing, are even offering discounts on take-out food and beer, so stock up while you till can.
If you are in self-imposed isolation, fear not! Breweries all over the province are now delivering beer right to your front door! You don’t even have to change out of your pajamas. Here’s our handy (and constantly updated) list of B.C. breweries that are offering beer delivery.
Even if your local craft brewery is fully shut, consider picking up a gift card from their online store. Even though you might not be able to buy any beer or food right now, when this whole thing blows over, we’re all going to party like its 1999 and that gift card is going to come handy.
If your local craft brewery doesn’t offer gift cards, grab a t-shirt or a hat from the online store. Any financial support will help keep their cash flow going and help ensure they make it out of this crisis alive.
Chances are, whatever plans you have for this summer have since been cancelled or postponed. So instead, let’s plan on making this the Summer of Craft Beer. Places like Victoria and the Okanagan are dependent on tourism dollars and international travel is expected to nosedive. Hopefully we can get out there and rediscover this beautiful province of ours in the summer months! Let’s visit all the towns we’ve never been to and drink at all the craft breweries we’ve never visited! For inspiration, pick up the latest copy of The Growler or check out our many travel recommendations online. Or head over to The BC Ale Trail to plan your craft beer road trip.