After more than two months of quarantine, the good people of North Carolina are gearing up to enter Phase II. I wish I could tell you I’ve had loads of time for deep introspection and reflection on our way of life and what the road ahead looks like for craft beer….it hasn’t happened.
I’ve spent the last few months reaching out to our customers throughout the Southeast. Each day brought a mix of good and bad news with no clear trends. With one exception, everyone seemed to be doing something to help out their community. Sanitizer production in the distilleries, participation in the All Together collaboration project, volunteering to help first responders. You name it…the craft beer and craft distilling industries stepped up in a big way during challenging times.
As reopening is now allowed, they are confronted with new regulations that will undoubtedly require more staff attending to fewer patrons. Many will be forced to make major shifts in their business models to remain open.
So what can be done?
We’ve said it so much, it has almost lost its meaning. We can’t let that happen.
Dollars spent at local taprooms over the next few months will recharge not just that individual business, but the community it worked so hard to support. Remember, dollars spent at local businesses stay close to home. 48% of that tip you leave the bartender will end up in the cash register of the taco place down the street. For comparison, only 14% of the dollars spent at big box stores recirculate locally.
This fundamental truth is crucial to restarting our local economies. While more government aid may be coming, the early rounds were not a good fit for many restaurants and breweries. They need us to step up and support them this summer!
Make no mistake, it will feel and look different in the taproom when we reconvene.
Many may elect to continue to supporting through to-go and delivery options.
Either way, spend your beer and spirits dollars with your local purveyors. It will honor their efforts and support the community that we all worked so hard to create.