Another State Lobbies for Craft Delivery
Alabama’s craft brewers are asking state leaders to throw them a lifeline under the state’s stay-at-home orders and temporarily allow brewers in the state to deliver their products direct to consumers’ doorsteps. Recall, we’ve seen craft brewers in Texas pushing for similar measures [see CBD 04-08-2020].
“It seems like an easy and simple ask,” Dan Perry, founder of Huntsville-based Straight to Ale, told AL.com. “So far, it’s been met with ‘not at this time.’”
Chad Emerson, president and CEO of Downtown Huntsville Inc., penned an op-ed in AL.com last week, urging Alabama Governor Kay Ivey to “utilize her emergency powers to allow for the home deliveries” pointing to nearby states in the Southeast like Tennessee, Kentucky and Virginia that have done just that.
“This is about saving jobs and keeping businesses open,” Chad wrote. Indeed, Dan Roberts executive director of the Alabama Brewers Guild told AL.com that “delivery” probably “won’t save all of” the state’s brewers, but “it would help some of them.”
The Governor’s office reportedly passed along those comments to the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, but the ABC claims overturning such a prohibition would require legislative action.
There is legislation pending in Montgomery (the capital city of Alabama) “that would allow home deliveries of wine and beer,” per report. The only problem is “lawmakers are not due back to Montgomery until April 28, and it’s uncertain if the legislation will even surface for consideration.” The state’s stay-at-home order “runs until 5 p.m. April 30,” AL.com notes.
FUNKWERKS’ SHIFT TO CANNING COMES AT A COST
“A major shift in production strategy” coinciding with the COVID-19 crisis, has put Colorado’s Funkwerks in an “unusual situation,” reports Westword.
You see, about a week before the U.S. was turned upside down from the outbreak, Funkwerks started the switch from bottles to cans and began “brewing and canning their four flagship beers” at 21st Amendment Brewing in California on March 10. (Recall, Funkwerks, 21A and Brooklyn Brewery are all connected through a national platform formed in 2017, where Brooklyn took minority stakes in both Funkwerks and 21A).
“We have a ton of cans now,” co-owner Brad Lincoln said. “But it meant we had to lay off a lot more of our staff because we don’t need to brew or bottle those beers in Fort Collins.”
Funkwerks is now down to two employees: Natosha Williams, who takes phone orders, and Brad, delivering the orders. Everyone else was furloughed after their final paychecks, as most of the brewery’s extra funds were spent on the partnership project.
“I can’t imagine any more depressing days than what I have had in the last few weeks. It was incredibly upsetting to lay people off,” Brad said. “But the best solution is to just keep working as much as you can to take care of our customers and hopefully our team. That’s the best way I can think of to ensure that there will actually be a future for our team.”
Funkwerks is counting on the nationwide sales from the California-brewed batches in order to hire back staff and start brewing again at their Fort Collins location. Brad has also applied for a Payment Protection Program loan from the SBA, which includes forgiveness for various operational expenses including payroll, which would allow Funkwerks to “bring the team back to start producing cans for Colorado immediately,” Brad said.
FLORIDA’S ABC FINE WINE AND SPIRITS OFFERING DISCOUNTS ON LOCAL CRAFT BEER
Florida retailer ABC Fine Wine and Spirits is offering 20% off all Floridian craft beers for the next few weeks to support state craft brewers.
“We’re reducing the price of all Florida-brewed craft beer in an effort to grow their sales. The more beer YOU buy, the more beer WE can buy from them,” the company said in a release. “TOGETHER, we can help keep the doors of our favorite Florida craft breweries open.”
WACHUSETT AND ATLAS DISTRIBUTING RELEASE “GLORY IPA” TO HELP LOCAL UNITED WAY COVID-19 EFFORTS. Wachusett Brewing Company and Atlas Distributing are releasing a new beer together that “will directly raise money to support three COVID-19 response funds in the communities where they operate,” the Massachusetts-based companies announced this week. Beneficiaries include United Way of North Central Massachusetts Stand United Fund, the United Way of Tri-County Community Response Fund and Worcester Together, “a joint effort between the United Way of Central Massachusetts and the Greater Worcester Community Foundation. Glory American IPA will hit in 6-packs starting this week. It is double dry-hopped with Galaxy, Citra and Azacca hops.
Jenn, Jordan, and Harry
“You can’t help someone get up a hill without getting closer to the top yourself.” – H. Norman Schwarzkopf
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