How Midwest Communities are Supporting Breweries During Coronavirus
There’s no easy way to say it—the Coronavirus outbreak has been a terrible hit for many industries.
Breweries and taprooms are certainly among the hardest hit in the service industry. Here in the Midwest, our love of beer and breweries runs deep. Wisconsin and Indiana have rich histories of beer brewing and an unparalleled spirit to survive and even thrive under the most difficult of circumstances. It’s no wonder that cities around the Midwest are doing as much as they can to support breweries during the Coronavirus outbreak.
Our love of beer is deeply embedded in the heritage of the Midwest. Since the early settlers set up the first bars and taprooms throughout Milwaukee, Indianapolis, and surrounding cities, beer has practically been running through our veins.
This is why the hit on the brewing industry due to Coronavirus has been all the more devastating. It speaks to the very heart of our history and culture. We hate seeing our fellow community members struggle, and the brewing industry is a very tight-knit group.
But if there’s another thing the Midwest is known for, it’s our community spirit. We rally around our community and stand together in all sorts of circumstances. So it’s no surprise to see the ways that cities in the Midwest have come together, supporting breweries during Coronavirus.
Here are just a few fantastic examples of community support for the brewing industry.
Restaurants, breweries, and taprooms have seen an amazing show of support for their efforts in offering takeout and carryout options to customers. The robust response goes to show how important food and beverages are to people, needing comfort as they practice social distancing and sheltering in place.
Although open carry out isn’t an option in most cases (neither is delivery), many breweries have found success with options like growlers, cans, and “crowlers” (larger cans) of their product. Closed carryout and curbside pickup have been very successful.
Several breweries in Milwaukee came together to create a “craft brew drive-through” growler pick up, giving customers the convenience of picking up their tasty brew without social contact. While it’s not the same as the camaraderie and joy experienced inside a brewpub or taproom, it gives patrons a chance to enjoy their favorite beverage as we get through the current circumstances.
Buying Gift Cards
With the unfortunate closure of many beer festivals and brewery-friendly events across the United States, it’s been more critical than ever to support local breweries. Many breweries, taprooms, and even bars have found that offering customers the option of buying gift cards gives them a chance to support breweries now and enjoy later.
If your brewery doesn’t yet offer gift cards, now is the time! Several local business support groups have sprung up to help small businesses sell gift cards and “restaurant bonds.” Promote your gift cards across social media. Offer customers an option to purchase future brewery tours (if you offer them), swag, and fun merchandise as well. Setting up a simple e-commerce site takes just a few hours, and as we fight the Coronavirus, it’s a productive use of the time that will pay off in the long run.
Providing Resources & Support
Other brewery and local business support groups are offering plenty of resources to help you navigate the rapidly changing situation. Consult with your local brewing organization to access courses and resources.
The Brewers Association has a plethora of links and options in their Coronavirus Resource Center to help brewery owners know what to do during this difficult time. Their resources include a guide for projecting cash flow needs, understanding your legal options, and planning for the continuation of operations.
The Brewers Association has also been working with government legislators to ensure breweries are represented and considered in any stimulus and support bills they pass. The impact on service industry workers has been a top concern for many, and people are advocating on the industry’s behalf.
Keeping Brewery Owners Informed
Many local publications, visitor bureaus, and entertainment guides are also providing valuable information and resources for small businesses. Be sure to check your local publications, national, regional, and local chambers of commerce, and brewery and restaurant associations regularly to help you navigate.
In times of uncertainty, information is one of our greatest weapons. If we stay informed and on top of the latest resources, we can plan and stay afloat. Follow key organizations on social media, sign up for their newsletters and resources, and check their websites regularly.
What Brewery Owners Can Do
For brewery owners, the Coronavirus outbreak has been a particularly frightening and harrowing time. It’s essential to be as proactive as possible right now to protect your business and employees no matter what lies ahead.
For brewery owners, now is an excellent time to:
- Educate yourself on your options, both from a legal and business standpoint.
- Review your ordering and operational costing; see where you can shore up any gaps in the future.
- Fortify your supplies and increase your inventory.
- Check equipment and conduct any necessary maintenance, updates, or repairs.
- Communicate with the community, boosting your website, social media profile, and outreach.
It’s easy to become paralyzed by fear of the unknown and uncertainty, but it can help to reframe this time as an opportunity to assess your business. Look at the areas you rarely have time to address and start to tighten them up.
Focus on communicating with your customers as much as possible with regular updates on social media and your website. Staying in touch is absolutely crucial for your reputation and future success. Keeping your customers connected and informed will help ensure that the community continues to rally around your brewery.
Reliable Water Services is Here for You
Hot water is critical to health, sanitation, and safety in general, but it’s especially vital to the industries we serve—and the majority of those industries are considered essential businesses. As our customers remain operational during these unprecedented times, so does Reliable Water Services.
Making sure our customers have hot water has always been our main priority, and now more than ever, we are here for you. We will continue to provide 24/7 water heater services to our customers, ensuring you have the hot water your business relies on.
Our office team is practicing social distancing by working remotely. Our service technicians and installing contractors are following extra safety guidelines to ensure they can service your building safely, without putting themselves or your staff members at risk.
Our team at RWS has always viewed the relationship with each of our customers as a partnership. Through this partnership, we will work together and get through these unique and challenging times. As always, should you need service, contact us 24/7 at 1-800-356-1444. Stay safe, and be well!