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“When the pandemic hit, craft breweries, like many other businesses, were faced with furloughing staff, shuttering their doors, and thinking of innovative ways to get their products out to the masses without being able to invite them indoors to drink or to do sample flights. According to the Brewers Association, independent breweries saw their numbers decline at least seven-to-eight percent in 2020. We spoke to craft brewers around the country about how they changed their business models throughout the pandemic…and which of those changes you can expect to see remain in play when you finally get back to visiting your favorite breweries.”

“Others, like Rising Tide Brewing Company in Portland, ME, became restaurant overnights. The popular brewery in the East Bayside area of town had always been a destination for rotating food trucks, but due to the need to contact-trace guests, that wasn’t a feasible option. Rising Tide’s Director of Business Operations and Owner Heather Sanborn credits this pivot for keeping them afloat. “We knew that he had lost millions of dollars in wedding bookings for the summer. [We partnered with Ryan Carey of Fire and Company, who] brought his wood-fired pizza oven and set it up in residence at Rising Tide. We shifted to table service as well. We haven’t served inside since last March.” Now, Rising Tide has a “much more food and restaurant approach” than it ever had before.”

Read the full article here.