Brewers Rally during Coronavirus
Throughout the world, the effects of COVID-19 are being felt. In the few weeks that we’ve been dealing with this outbreak, we’ve watched our world rapidly change before our eyes.
While the world struggles to define a new normal, through all of this insecurity and fear, breweries consider themselves lucky to have been, for the most part, considered “essential”. In the wake of massive confusion, we feel that it’s an honor that we’ve been able to avoid having our doors completely shuttered by the powers-that-be, although economic factors are beginning to get the better of some of us.
We’ve been fortunate in this industry: before this epidemic began, we counted ourselves among an alliance of like-minded brethren, bound together through a higher call, not only to redefine what beer means to the average American, but to bring us all together in times of joy, in times of sadness, and in times of fear.
And we’re not giving up now.
Throughout the country, we’re seeing reports of brewers finding new ways to navigate a rapidly changing environment, as well as numerous supporting organizations discovering new ways to show their encouragement.
In New Jersey, we were lucky to have unexpectedly been allowed to deliver our product to your homes, albeit briefly. We’ve enacted curbside service while our Tasting Rooms have been shuttered, and we’re hopeful to have home delivery back online soon.
Our professional organizations — the Brewers Association and the Beer Institute — have had our backs throughout all of this, lobbying our members of Congress for relief for small business owners, for support of our healthcare professionals, and for direct financial support for the American people.
While beer events throughout the country have been postponed or canceled, the organizers are finding ways to support craft beer and its fans during this crisis. For example, Pints for Prostates, hosts of the Denver Rare Beer Tasting, are asking fans to post pictures on social media using the hashtag #BeerNotFear, with a virtual toast on Facebook on Saturday at 7pm.
Numerous organizations are finding ways to support local brewers, including by offering lists of breweries with curbside and delivery options. CraftBeer.com, Philly Loves Beer, and Untappd all have lists, and we’re lucky to have organizations such as them by our side.
In our own backyard, our good friends at the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities (MAC) and the Cape May County Chamber of Commerce are keeping track of local businesses in Cape May County that have remained open during the COVID-19 crisis.
Everywhere, brewers and our friends have innovated — some of us literally overnight — to find ways to help you endure this panic.
Yet, like many of you, we’re putting on a brave face in the midst of extraordinary hardship. We’re attempting to be a light in the dark.
The greatest fear doesn’t come from the virus. It’s frightening, of course, but it’s the fear of the unknown that’s that much scarier. Having to call into question the schedule of great beers we have planned for the year. Having to look upon loved ones with suspicion. Having the security of our day-to-day lives shattered by something we can’t see and can’t control.
The fear is in the disruption of something that once seemed so secure. We’re used to finding satisfaction in routine. While we may sometimes look at our lives and think that there must be something more than this, we rarely stop for a minute to consider that there could be less.
That’s why this disruption is so difficult for so many.
However, it’s important to remember that normalcy in the face of despair is our best weapon. In this case, it’s simply a matter of redefining normal.
So we find security in things we once took for granted. A great song from our favorite band. The peace-of-mind in a movie that we can quote word-for-word. Comfort food painstakingly prepared with love.
Or a beer from your favorite brewery.
That’s why we’ll be here, proudly making our beers in the face of adversity, for as long as they’ll let us, and until we make it through to the other side. We owe at least that to the fans, customers, and organizations who have supported us so diligently for so long.
One day soon we’ll be able to share a beer together, in the warm sun of our Beer Garden, without the six feet of separation that rules our lives now. And it will be soon. In the grand scheme of things, it will be soon. A little worse for wear, perhaps, but certainly wiser for the journey.
Until then, raise one high. We certainly will.