Brewers Association (BA) chief economist Bart Watson this week delivered his annual state of the industry report virtually for the second time, due to the 2020 cancellation and 2021 postponement of the Craft Brewers Conference, now slated to take place this fall. In 2020, the nation’s 8,764 craft breweries posted a 9% decline in beer volume, so Watson delved into the market forces and consumer trends that led to the first volume decline recorded in BA history during a webinar for members.
Sierra Nevada has announced it will reopen its breweries in Chico, California, and Mills River, North Carolina, to the public in May after what will be a 14-month hiatus from on-site service, according to a report in the Chico Enterprise-Record. Philadelphia-headquartered, on-demand delivery platform goPuff announced the completion of a $1.15 billion fundraising round earlier this week.
A cidermaker and a craft brewer wanted to open a bar, so they founded a distillery. It’s complicated, but it’s the origin story behind the Bale Breaker and Yonder Taproom, set to open this summer in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood, thanks to a piece of legislation passed in 2020.
Morganton, North Carolina-based Catawba Brewing Company acquired Skytown Beer Company, a brewpub in Wilmington, North Carolina, in a deal that closed February 10. Fifteen months after retrenching to focus on its brewpub, Boulder Beer’s portfolio will return to distribution in 28 states through a partnership with Stem Ciders and contract brewer Sleeping Giant in Denver.
Two more popular craft breweries have announced that their taprooms will be hibernating this winter as colder weather makes outdoor service infeasible, and COVID-19 cases continue to rise nationwide. Chicago-headquartered Revolution Brewing and Canton, Massachusetts-based Trillium Brewing both said this week that they will be temporarily shuttering their locations for on-premise service through the winter.
Dexter, Michigan-based Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales has opened a new cafe and brewery in East Lansing, Michigan, the company’s ninth location. Uinta Brewing’s new pub at Salt Lake City International Airport marks its first offsite expansion since opening in 1993. Brooklyn, New York-headquartered Other Half Brewing opened its third brewery and taproom in Washington, D.C., last week.
Craft brewers’ sales improved during the third quarter of 2020, but are still far off from where they were in 2019, according to a new analysis by Brewers Association (BA) chief economist Bart Watson. Combining several datasets tracking on-premise sales, Watson found that Q3 sales fell 22% below baseline, a marked improvement over Q2’s 45% below baseline.
Tourists and a pandemic don’t mix. Salem, Massachusetts-based Notch Brewing announced Wednesday that it would close its biergarten for on-site service beginning Friday through November 1, as its hometown faces a deluge of tourists in the lead up to Halloween.
Surly Brewing management and workers attempting to organize a union at the Minneapolis-based craft brewery have reached an agreement on a union election after several weeks of negotiations, Unite Here Local 17 announced Thursday.
New Belgium Brewing is planning to take over the former Little Creatures taproom in San Francisco’s Mission Bay neighborhood by early 2021, according to Eater San Francisco.
Both Sierra Nevada and New Glarus will keep their taprooms and tour operations shuttered until the end of the year at the earliest.
New Jersey restaurants are permitted to resume indoor dining at 25% capacity beginning today, Gov. Phil Murphy announced earlier this week. Last week, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds issued a proclamation forcing the closure of drinking establishments for on-premise service in six counties as the state combats a spike in cases of COVID-19.
After some tense weeks of picketing and negotiating, Philadelphia-based Dock Street Brewing announced it would change its service model so that front-of-house employees at its West Philadelphia location would be paid regular hourly wages, rather than relying on tips.
On this week’s Brewbound Frontlines, Fresh Fest co-founder Day Bracey joins to discuss the upcoming beer festival showcasing Black-owned breweries, and industry professionals share taproom staff management best practices.