And meanwhile, our local breweries are navigating how they continue. Michael Peticolas of Peticolas Brewing Company offered a stinging prediction:
“We will make it through this, but expect to see numerous North Texas breweries closing for good. Yes, numerous. For now, I’d suggest consumers focus beer purchasing on exclusively local options.”
With dine-in services shut down around the city, it’s time to get creative. Brewers are worried about their businesses, but more specifically, they’re shaken about the people they employ.
“First and foremost, our hearts go out to everyone in the service industry,” Wim Bens of Lakewood Brewing Company said Monday evening. “We have to get creative now. It’s sink or swim, honestly. Keg orders are going down daily. Hopefully, it’ll be offset by stores. That’s what we’re hoping for, but we’ll see.”
Bens said their taproom is only a small part of their overall revenue, but for their 10 or so employees who work that taproom, it’s a lot more. So, starting Wednesday, customers can call in an order for beer-to-go, wait in a drive-thru and they'll deliver orders curbside.
They’re also trying to partner with some food trucks, who are all in this same social-distancing boat.
“We’re a small independently, family-owned business,” Bens says. “Budweiser and McDonalds will be fine. It’s the small independent restaurants, bars and liquor stores that are going to be hurt the most.”
After spending some time querying breweries on their plans, it looks like across the board most, if not all, are moving to beer-to-go with very clean employees running orders out to the curb. Instead of listing all the specifics here, the best thing to do is visit each Facebook page or Instagram account for specifics. Because also, information changes so quickly, posting it seems futile.
A Few Drive-Thru Brewery Tips:
• In an effort to move things along and have as much social distancing as possible, a lot of places are allowing customers to call in ahead of time to place their order and pay.
• Cards are preferred because cash requires more handling.
• Be patient. No honking in drive-thru lines, OK? Pinky swear? We’re all new at this.
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• Since food trucks are in the same situation, many breweries are looping them in on the drive-thru services. So, again, check social media pages to see who is where.
• Many breweries have already said they’re not filling already used growlers. However, many places offer new growlers for purchase.
• Retail sales for local breweries are also financially significant. So, if you can't make it to a brewery drive-thru, purchase of a local beer anywhere is helpful.
• Remember, there’s no crying in baseball. Or your beer. #flattenthecurve.