This week on Brewbound Frontlines, National Beer Wholesalers Association
chief economist Lester Jones and Brewers Association chief economist
Bart Watson discuss beer sales during the COVID-19 pandemic, how the
summer selling season is shaping up and their projections for the rest
The pandemic has had an indelible effect on the beer industry.
Nationwide safer-at-home orders forced the closure of bars, restaurants,
brewery tasting rooms, taprooms, sporting venues and the cancellation
of large events. With millions of Americans staying home, off-premise
beer sales skyrocketed week after week, topping $1 billion ahead of
Memorial Day weekend.
However, those sales so far haven’t made up for the loss of
on-premise draft sales. Craft breweries, many of whom don’t sell their
products in national off-premise chains and who rely heavily on draft
sales on their own premises, have been disproportionately affected.