• Brandon Lawrence

Craft Beer Industry Presses on Safely Despite COVID-19 Pandemic

Updated: Apr 22, 2020

By: Brandon Lawrence

We’re living in a pretty unusual time, there’s no denying that.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic currently spreading throughout the world, we as humans have had to change quite a bit about our everyday lives. Arbitrary stuff that you wouldn’t normally think of.

Social distancing and self-quarantining are some of the best ways to mitigate the spread and transmission of Coronavirus, which is paramount. Even if it does come with some unfortunate side effects we have to endure.

Boredom, stir craziness and physical inactivity are the obvious few affecting us individually. But our actions (or lack thereof, to be more accurate) have reverberations. What about the community? What about those who work to stay afloat?

We at BeerSighted built this enterprise knowing our goal was to make it to as many breweries as possible, and to try to connect beer lovers out there with these brewers by being their initial impression. That’s hard to do when non-essential businesses are shut down to the public.

But the blow we’ve been dealt isn’t even close to those working in the brewery field, and the service industry across the nation. They’ve taken a direct hit.

It’s a resilient industry, however, and where there’s a will, there’s a way. Brewers all over have been adapting to the circumstances to remain at least partially open. Whether that’s firing up delivery trucks, instituting curbside pickup locations or opening their shops for to-go orders only, the beer continues to flow!

We monitored numerous brewers from all over the country on social media, and reached out to a few utilizing some innovative techniques to make sure the quarantined population isn’t without beer.

Lamplighter Brewing Company, located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is one of those places.

Taking advantage of one of the more underrated aspects of their facility, Lamplighter has found a way to carve a useable niche into the beer scene during these pandemic-days.

“Customers who are familiar with our setup will notice that it looks a bit different than usual. To keep things safe and limit physical interaction, we’re operating through our taproom window,” said Emma Arnold, Director of Marketing for Lamplighter. “This way we’re able to limit contact with the beer, make sure every order is sanitized, and pack things up for everyone to safely get home.

“We’re also offering an order ahead option through our website - we’ll pack up the order as soon as we get it in, so customers don’t have to wait at the window.”

Being safe and sanitary is the prime concern for brewers still distributing their products. And, as Arnold said, limiting physical interaction is key.

Between delivery trucks and quick pickup locations, that interaction time is reduced to a minimum. That also means, for brewers with kitchens and sit-down dining, the best-case scenario is offering takeout food. Many restaurants have closed entirely.

And while taprooms have closed, distribution continues to forge on. Between bottle shops, liquor stores and distributors, beer is still sold locally until told otherwise.

“We’re continuing distribution to all local accounts, as long as there continues to be demand!” Arnold said. “We’ve had a busy week in that sense, and hope that continues … we’re self-distributed, which allows us to have a high level of flexibility and control. And our drivers are following increased safety and sanitation protocols, working closely with accounts to make sure our new processes work with theirs.”

With the virus spreading and no definitive return to normalcy in sight, the question remains: what’s next? For us beer lovers and #BeerSeekers everywhere, the message is simple: continue to buy beer! Just remember to do so safely - do not potentially compromise anyone in the process.

Whether it’s Lamplighter or another brewer’s beer elsewhere in the country, Arnold’s message transcends the industry:

  • Buy beer, both at the brewery or at local accounts

  • Purchase merch or gift cards online (which can be shipped)

  • Share your beer on social media! Because we all want to see what you’re drinking

And when looking for the latest information regarding updated hours, practices or closings, make sure to follow breweries on social media channels like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. And be sure to check your local brewery’s website for information as well.

We’ll get past the COVID-19 pandemic eventually, and you can be sure the guys here at BeerSighted will flock back to breweries once we’re given the all-clear. But until that day comes, remember to be safe, and support your local brewers as best you can.

Cheers, BeerSeekers!

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