Arryved Data Details How Craft Brewers Are Weathering COVID-19

Craft-centric Point Of Sale company, Arryved, has revealed some data about its clients’ current state of operations. The company also offered some tips on how brewers can reach customer bases while supporting staff and their communities in this uncharted territory. 

The data, procured from a survey finished this week, covers brewers of all sizes from across the U.S. 

“We requested information from all of our sites, about 500 across the country (we have higher density in CO, FL, CA, NC and TX than other states, but 48 states are represented in our user base),” the company told CBD. “Respondents were not asked to provide location data, but the customer base is primarily breweries and brewpubs, with a sampling of cideries, distilleries and non-brewery taprooms.” The percentage of respondents was under 20% of their total client base “but does seem to be representative and consistent with transactional volume data.”  (The company’s client base includes some of the largest craft brewers, to much smaller operations.) 

MOST RESPONDENTS NOT TOTALLY CLOSED. Based on survey results, Arryved reported in their blog that “Less than 15% of respondents to our survey are closed to the public, 71% are selling to-go items, 10% are still open for drink-in*, and a small percentage are providing delivery services.” (*note that “the bulk” of responses came in on March 17th, and by our count 20-plus states had called for the closing of bars and restaurants at that time, see BBD 03-17-2020)

REVENUES NOT DOWN AS MUCH AS ONE MIGHT EXPECT. Based on Arryved aggregate sales data, “the revenue numbers for taprooms are down, but not to the extent one might expect. The to-go model is working and people are still buying beer from the taprooms.”

Arryved did not attach a number to these aggregate sales.

TYPES OF DIRECT SALES TACTICS FOR THOSE WHOSE PREMISES ARE CLOSED. The company also offered a breakdown of types of direct sales, specifically for the subset of brewers whose establishments are closed for on-premise consumption. 

More than 75% of such respondents are taking curbside sales and over 60% are filling phone orders. About 30% are taking online orders. Smaller percentages, less than 25%, were offering delivery. 

WHAT ARE THEY SELLING? As far as what they are selling through these direct channels, almost 80% said they are offering sanitized growlers and crowlers on-site. A similar amount are offering gift cards as well. Merchandise (over 60%) and 12 oz to-go bottles and cans (just under 50%) were the next biggest items offered. The two items offered the least are customer-provided growlers and food, with less than 30% and 20%, respectively.

TIPS ON INCENTIVIZING CUSTOMERS, SURVIVING PAYROLL. Arryved pulled from customer and craft brewers’ tips “to share suggestions on how to thrive in the trenches and, perhaps more importantly, highlight the craft community’s resilience in this time of trial and error.”

In order to work with social distancing measures while promoting sales, “several breweries shared that they’re offering incentives for those willing to brave the pick-up: things like a bonus roll of toilet paper, case discounts, BOGO and free glass growlers.”

Other suggestions included promoting gift card sales with coupons or combo deals for some immediate cash flow.

Another critical concern is keeping staff paid. While some companies like Avery Brewing in CO are keeping staff on payroll while restaurant and taproom operations are suspended, Arryved suggests “for those who may not be in the position to float, consider enlisting your staff as delivery drivers, manning your to-go window, or donating all sales of specific items to their staff members, including pooling all tips made during that time.” As a last resort, businesses could direct employees to “gig” economy work for companies like GrubHub and DoorDash that are currently experiencing high demands for delivery drivers.

Arryved also pointed to goodwill efforts on the part of brewers, including Forgotten Star Brewing in Minnesota offering their empty parking lot for a blood drive; and Dry County Brewing Company using vodka distilling equipment to make hand sanitizer, free of charge.

NEW YORK NOW ON LOCKDOWN AS ALL NON-ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES ORDERED TO KEEP WORKERS HOME; CALIFORNIA EXPANDS SHELTER IN PLACE MEASURES TO STATEWIDE  

We’ll have more in Beer Business Daily Monday, but the state with a full 6% of the nation’s population is now subject to a massive lockdown as New York Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered the state’s “non-essential” businesses to keep their workers home.


That’s as COVID-19 afflictions in the state edge toward some 8,000 as of presstime, half of all U.S. cases. 

The Governor said businesses who violate the ruling will be “fined and forced to close,” per The New York Times. 

“Essential businesses that can stay open include: grocers and restaurants, health care providers, pharmacies, gas stations, convenience stores, banks, hardware stores, laundromats and cleaners, child-care providers, auto repair shops, utility companies, warehouses and distributors, delivery services, plumbers and other skilled contractors, animal-care providers, transportation providers, construction companies and many kinds of manufacturers,” per the NYT. 

For those wondering how this differs from California’s shelter in place provisions (keep reading), the NYT reported: “Mr. Cuomo chafed at calling his new directive a shelter-in-place order, saying that the term evoked for him active-shooter situations and nuclear war.”

BUT: NEW YORK’S THREE TIER SYSTEM DEEMED ESSENTIAL. Here’s some clarity for concerned readers: New York declared the entire three tier system essential “and therefore exempt from the rule,” according to the Metropolitan Package Store Association.

PLUS, CALIFORNIA’S SHELTER IN PLACE MANDATE GOES STATEWIDE, ILLINOIS NEXT? Earlier this week, we reported that seven Bay Area counties were subjected to the strictest quarantine “shelter in place” protocols, basically shutting down any non-essential outings and operations. Last night California Governor Gavin Newsom issued a statewide order for all residents to “stay at home.” It has been reported that Illinois will take similar measures later today, per NBC.

More is breaking as we speak, surely. Stay tuned. 

BREWDOG REVENUES DOWN 70% “OVERNIGHT,” FIGHTING TO SAVE JOBS AND COMPANY

Scotland-based BrewDog is facing dire straits in the midst of the coronavirus. 

Late last year we reported that the brewer’s U.S. operations in Ohio had been growing in the fall at double digits, chief revenue officer Adam Lambert had told CBD (he’s since left, very recently, to be President of ROAK Brewing Co and Dark Horse Brewing Co., see CBD 02-27-2020).

Just last November, BrewDog launched its third round of U.S. Equity for Punks. With proceeds, they hoped to launch a stateside distillery, and even build a West Coast outpost in California, they’d said [see CBD 11-14-2019].

Those plans are likely now on hold.

In an email sent out to shareholders yesterday, co-founder James Watt wrote that “Covid-19 has already had a colossal impact on our business and we have lost almost 70% of our revenue overnight,” per the UK’s Evening Express. The outlet said the company employs 2,000 people worldwide. 

The brewer appealed to its “Equity for Punks” audience, imploring them to invest, and more. 

James listed the two main priorities of BrewDog at the moment as 1) survival as a business and 2) “preserve as many of the 2,000 jobs we have created at BrewDog as possible.”

James requested that customers purchase what they can during this trying time.

“The biggest thing you can do to help us is buy our beers. The more revenue we can generate during this period the more jobs we can safeguard,” James wrote.

Despite this chaos, BrewDog has started “using its brewery, distillery and resources to create hand sanitiser, which will be given out free of charge.”

They’re also operating “a drive-thru service” at their bars around the world; plus, the Ohio Brewers Guild reported this week that BrewDog USA “had a beer shipping program in place prior to the coronavirus outbreak.”

Until Monday,

Jenn, Jordan, and Harry 

“No problem is too small or too trivial if we can really do something about it.” – Richard Feynman

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