ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Many restaurants are semi-closed with limited staff and services in the age of COVID-19 and NY PAUSE.
However, that doesn’t mean places aren’t trying new things to get goods to customers. Consumers are liking the new privileges craft breweries are using to get beer to the thirsty masses.
“You know, when times are good, people drink and when times are bad, people drink more,” says Paul Leone with the New York State Brewers Association.
Leone says the demand for beer during the pandemic, and temporary privileges allowed to get craft beer to consumers, are keeping craft breweries afloat.
“If you allow them to do things they’re not normally allowed to do, like ship beer, deliver beer, curb-side pick up,” Leon said, adding people will still buy, and business can survive.
Additionally, a bill proposed in the New York State Senate would extend alcohol delivery and takeout for two years following the end of the ongoing COVID-19 related emergency.
“We’re working really hard with the governor’s office to extend those until breweries are allowed 100% capacity again,” says Leone.
“Well, we started right away with ‘to go’ beer,” says Geoff Dale of Three Heads Brewing.
Dale says like most businesses, they’ve taken a big hit, especially with no at-the-bar-pint sales, but allowing them to get their product out a different way, means they’re still here.
“In the end, you’ve got to adapt,” he says.
Renne Colombo with Dinosaur BBQ says the new opportunities like take-out beer with meals have been a hit with many places, and restaurants are including more mom and pop brews on their beer taps.
“Craft beer never dies,” says Colombo, adding they now go through three to five barrels of Three Heads’ “The Kind” per week at Dinosaur.
Leone says now more than ever, if you’re thinking of going for a tall beer, think small.
“Little places like (Three Heads) needs all the support they can get. Breweries don’t hoard cash. They always reinvest and they hire a lot of people,” he says.
And for phase three of New York’s reopening when breweries are due to fully run again, Dale says changes have been made: tables spaced out, hand sanitizer stations, mask requirements, etc. He says most places are geared up and anxious to go, hoping that green light from Albany comes soon.