Craft Beer Industry Changes During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Operating a craft brewery means you have to be agile. You have to adjust to a changing marketplace, shifts in your customer base, and emergency situations.

So it’s no surprise that the craft beer industry has demonstrated considerable agility in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Service Changes

With many states prohibiting dine-in service at bars and restaurants, breweries and brewpubs have had to change the ways they serve customers. The focus on packaged beer has heightened. So has creativity in packaging (variety packs, for instance, that allow customers to purchase a 4-pack that contains cans of four different beers). Single-use crowlers have overtaken re-fillable growlers. Customers can place orders in advance, typically online, and then come to a brewery to pick up that order. Many breweries are even doing local deliveries to make the sale and get their beer in the glasses of the consumers.

Role Changes

Temporary lay-offs have forced brewery skeleton crews to take on roles that are new to them.  Office staff is now pouring, and production teams is taking beer orders. It’s an all-hands-on-deck situation. Remaining staff is doing whatever it takes to keep the doors open and the beer flowing.

Beer Lineup Changes

Some breweries are changing what they brew, moving from fast-fermenting IPAs to more time-intensive beer styles. After all, they have time to craft those brews before customers fill the tasting room again. Other breweries are releasing seasonal brews early, so consumers can enjoy a favorite brew without having to wait for summer, for instance.

But Some Things Just Don’t Change

The craft beer industry has long demonstrated a dedication to helping where help is needed. One Southern California brewery hosted a “pop-up blood drive.” Other breweries are brewing beers for pandemic relief.

And, of course, brewery staff is diving deep into available resources, including the CARES Act, and taking advantage of everything available to them.

What is your brewery changing, or not changing, during this challenging time?

For more than 25 years, Beall Financial and Insurance Services, Inc., has been helping corporations and individuals protect their most important assets. The agency’s client base covers a spectrum of niche businesses, such as craft breweries, that require specialized insurance packages and knowledge. With California offices in Redlands and Newport Beach, Beall Financial and Insurance Services serves clients nationwide.