How do you feel that the community has helped your business in the last year?
The community has really supported us by buying “to go” beer, merchandise and gift cards more than they normally do. The community has really been getting behind small businesses.
Do you usually take part in summer or fall block parties, and will those be happening this summer?
As of right now, no. But as soon as we can have that many people outside, we will be doing so. We have submitted all our parties for approval; but until the orders get changed so that we can have a decent amount of people, it does not make sense to do so.
How has it been for your staff through the last year?
It has definitely been tough. I do not know the exact numbers offhand, but our gross sales are down at least 50%. As a smaller company, we do not have as much overhead, but it has still been rough. A lot of our employees were able to get unemployment, which helped; but they were definitely not making as much as they were. But now we have been able to get pretty much everybody back that we had prior.
Has the pandemic changed how you plan to do things in the future?
Of course. We will probably never have paper menus again. Everybody has been using QR codes, and it’s just a better solution than to have to print our all those menus and waste the paper. We are also doing a lot more canning. Before, we were only putting special releases in cans, but now we are offering basically all our beer in “to go” cans.
Has the time in the pandemic given you new beer ideas that you want to bring to the public?
That’s the thing; we’ve been brewing the entire time, just not as much as before. But we are always coming up with new and different stuff. That is what makes it fun for us. We usually have 20 beers on tap on any given week; and if you come a week or two later, a quarter of that menu will have changed. We are constantly tweaking one of our beers or coming up with new ones. We really enjoy messing around with the recipes and using different ingredients. It’s what makes brewing fun.