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Dear Craft Beer Drinker in Confinement,
Dear Craft Beer Drinker in Confinement,
You have been with us - the craft breweries, craft beer bars and bottle shops alike - from the beginning. Your beginning might have started when you turned 18, or 21. Or maybe it was when a brewery first opened its doors in your town and poured your very first pint of craft beer (you always remember your first). Or, maybe, you have been with us from the start, long before the Brewer's Association even defined the word "craft".
Regardless of when you joined us, be it a decade ago or just the other day, you're here now. Welcome ! Your support has not gone unnoticed. In fact, it's your support that has helped propagate the craft beer movement internationally, inspire craft brewers, and open over 19,000 breweries worldwide.
Today, more than ever, local breweries need your help.
You're probably reading this from inside your home - if you're following the rules. Goodbye long nights at the bar, Saturday afternoons at the brewery, and tasting sessions with friends. If you're anything like me, your day is no longer defined by hours, minutes and seconds, but by coffee drinking time and beer drinking time.
This ruinous historical moment is ravaging the craft beer industry. Breweries are being drained by this crisis - and not in the good, emptying-the-keg kind of way. The Brewer's Association survey on the effect of COVID-19 on the craft beer industry revealed that "a majority of breweries do not think their business can last three months given current conditions, suggesting thousands of closings".
That is why we are launching the #LocalCraftChallenge.
We challenge you - no, we dare you - to get your hands on a bottle of local craft beer and then post a picture of it with the hashtag #LocalCraftChallenge.
If just one person goes out and supports their local craft beer business, that is one more contribution to the industry. It's one step closer to guaranteeing that your local brewery will be waiting for you, doors and arms wide open, ready to pour your first post-confinement pint.
"Give me one good reason why I should drink craft beer"
Actually, I'll give you FIVE :
- Craft beer is hand-made with care and quality ingredients. Sure, there are only four ingredients that go into making beer, but the quality of those four ingredients is what differentiates the good ones from the bad ones. Go ahead! Ask your local brewer about the ingredients s/he uses, I'm sure they'd be more than happy to tell you about their origin and the special way they contribute to making your favorite beer taste so good.
- Long-distance relationships are no fun, especially when it's with your beer. Closing the distance between your beer fridge and the brewery means same-day delivery, less transportation pollution, lower costs and, more importantly, a fresher beer. Listen to Jim Koch, founder of Samuel Adams, "Many drinkers don't realise that beer needs to be fresh to taste its best. It's not like wine; it's liquid bread." (Quench Your Own Thirst: Business Lessons Learned Over a Beer or Two by Jim Koch).
- Better beers lead to better conversations. Virtual happy hours are more fun when you've got a good drink in hand. A good drink that has an interesting local history, delicious and unsuspecting ingredients, or even a bizarre name is more likely to spark a compelling conversation than a... bland, boring, not-so-craft beer.
- Take yourself on an adventure. During your next government-mandated 1-hour of exercise, take a walk by your local brewery. Chances are, there's one closer to you than you think. Or, on your next essentials trip to the grocery, stroll down the beer aisle. Did you know that a lot of craft breweries sell their beers in your local grocery store ? Supermarkets around the world are recognising the potential and growing taste for craft beer, and making room for local breweries on their beer shelves.
- Be proud of your local brewery. How many people get to say that they have a brewery right by their home, in their very own town? A brewery ready to quench your thirst and show you a good time at the same time ?
In these difficult times, let's support our local brewers, our local businesses ; those who give us something to look forward to after a long day at work ; those whose job it is to make sure we, as consumers and craft beer drinkers, are having a good time.
Most breweries are now offering beer pick-up and delivery, or have set up online webshops. Contact your local breweries to find out more about how you can help them be open tomorrow.