How Beverage Companies Are Coping With COVID-19
Throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, stay-at-home orders and lockdown protocols are having a tremendous impact on all businesses, and this includes beverage companies. Some state governments are even ordering a liquor ban to discourage people from gathering together. So, amidst the current climate, how are the beverage companies coping with COVID-19?
Maryland Breweries Are Doing Their Part
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan ordered the closing of all non-essential businesses on March 23, 2020. However, liquor stores are considered an essential business in the state of Maryland. Therefore, they will continue to remain open during the pandemic until further notice.
The beer, wine, and spirits industries in Maryland are important manufacturing sectors in the state’s economy. Beverage companies are responsible for tens of thousands of jobs in Maryland alone, and there will always be a consumer demand. Knowing this, Maryland is keeping up with the sudden changes in the following ways:
1. Maryland Breweries are Making Hand Sanitizer
Amongst the pandemic, five Maryland breweries are also joining the effort to help Maryland cope with COVID-19. In particular, Baltimore Spirits Company announced that they are making hand sanitizer. CEO and co-founder, Max Lents explained that breweries are in a unique position to produce hand sanitizer due to the required alcohol content. Therefore, they are shifting their business practices an doing their part to help reduce the spread of the virus.
Moreover, Baltimore Spirits Company has already started production. In fact, several Maryland breweries are already sourcing for WHO and FDA-approved sanitizer ingredients. These companies include MISCellaneous Distillery, Old Line Spirits, Patapsco Distilling Company, and the Lost Ark Distilling Company.
2. Many Locations Offer Carry-Out Services
Social distancing won’t be a problem in Baltimore. Cocktail rooms, breweries, and distilleries are expanding their services by offering carry-out and delivery services to customers. That way, loyal consumers can still obtain their favorite beverages without the health risk!
3. Smitty’s Liquor Co. Remains Open
Smitty’s Liquor Co. in Federal Hill will remain open due to health concerns. As a result of the shutdowns, manager Peter Chung, believes there’s a greater risk for individuals to experience severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms. In turn, Chung has concerns that this may lead to an uptick in people who will require medical attention.
The decision to keep selling was made in an effort to avoid burdening the healthcare system further. Chung stated that people can enjoy a drink while they adhere to stay-at-home protocols. This also allows Smitty’s to continue operations, which is positive news for their employees. However, it is unclear how long Smitty’s will remain open.
What Are Other Beverage Companies Doing?
Additional beverage companies across the country (and globe) are also doing their part to help. Here are some of their most notable efforts:
- The New York Distilling Company is using the CDC recommendations to make a homemade hand sanitizer. They plan to give it away to fellow New York bars, restaurants, and retailers to offer support and solidarity.
- Pernod Ricard USA is making sanitizer for donation purposes. They’re also working with the U.S. government for distribution processing.
- Jameson is donating $500,000 to the US Bartenders Guild (USBG) Emergency Fund.
- Amass Spirits is producing its alcohol-based botanic sanitizers. They are putting forth 10% of the sales to the USBG Emergency Fund, as well. In Europe, BrewDog is following suit and making its BrewGel Punk Sanitiser.
- Distillery 58 Gin has stopped alcohol production and has already produced 3,000 bottles of hand sanitizer in its first batch. They are donating 10% of the sales to The Drinks Trust.
- Guinness is giving $500,000 through its Guinness Gives Back program to help U.S. communities tackle the pandemic. Meanwhile, in Ireland, Guinness set an approximate $1.6 million budget to pay for employees’ reduced hours and to help senior citizens. Even more, Guinness is also allotting for nearly $1.2 million of funding to compensate for bartenders’ wages in Great Britain. Each pub or bar can get a maximum of $736.20.
It’s Time to Come Together
People may be forced to distance themselves from others physically, but this adversity is also an opportunity to come together and help one another. Hats off to these beverage companies that are making a difference!