Before the COVID-19 crisis, Jason and Beth Lacny (owners of Four Fathers Brewing in Valparaiso, Indiana) were preparing to launch new beers to sell at their brewery’s 6th anniversary party in April. That bash got bashed, of course, along with the brewery’s taproom and off-premise sales. But the Lacnys and their team have weathered the crisis by shifting to online sales of to-go and shipped-to-consumers beer. So far, Four Fathers is staying close to its previous taproom and to-go sales.
“Nothing like seeing a line of cars waiting for curbside beer,” says Jason Lacny, who is also head brewer for Four Fathers. “It’s almost as good as seeing a line of people at your door.” Over 50% of the brewery’s post-shutdown sales have come in through Bevv.com. It’s a direct-to-consumers beer service (via local delivery, UPS and at-the-brewery pickup) that Four Fathers signed on with earlier in the year as part of its 2020 sales strategy.
While the bulk of his sales are from curbside customers, Lacny says his Bevv.com sales via UPS-compliant shipping are significant. All of his combined new methods, he notes, are helping the brewery navigate the new normal. “Having to quickly adapt,” he says, “to an online pre-sale/curbside/shipping strategy for our beer releases has actually opened our eyes to a whole new way of doing things.”
In Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Roadhouse Brewery has been focusing on being especially helpful during the shutdown. With hustling help from local allies (including a connection in international shipping), Roadhouse and its restaurant group sourced 11,000 medical-grade KN95 masks and distributed them to local groups in need of these literal lifesavers. The recipients include St. John’s Hospital and the area’s Public Health Department, Fire, EMS and Sheriff departments, and the Fort Washakie Reservation.
Colby Cox, Roadhouse co-founder, said the mask effort is a way for the brewery to help locals on the frontlines stay safe while they help those with COVID-19. Roadhouse and its team have also launched Quarantine Cuisine to help feed staying-at-home locals and new and expecting mothers. These residents can order meals online, pay what they are able, and have their meals delivered right to their door.
Let’s raise a beer and toast the efforts of these two breweries.
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