Trouble is brewing for hundreds of craft brewers in Texas, many of which are struggling to survive the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.
Revenue for the nearly 400 members of the Texas Craft Brewers Guild is down 71% according to a survey earlier this month, and 63% of those companies have laid off employees in recent weeks.
“The employees are hurting because of this. And the breweries are hurting, themselves, because of this,” said Charles Vallhonrat, Executive Director of the Texas Craft Brewers Guild. “And there is a concern about how many breweries will be able to survive the current situation, depending on how long social distancing requirements are in place.”
The latest news from around North Texas.
A national survey revealed the potential for a reality even grimmer than a temporary loss of revenue. Nearly half of the respondents – 46% – said their brewery would be forced to close if the shutdowns last between one to three months, according to The Brewers Association.
Much of the money that flows in from craft beer comes from either direct sales in the on-site taproom at the brewery, of which there are more than 360 in Texas, or from draft beer sales at bars or restaurants. Taprooms have been closed statewide since mid-March, as have bars in the majority of the state.
The industry is working to get the attention of their customers, and of Governor Greg Abbott, to gain support for small and independent brewers.
This weekend the Texas Craft Brewers Guild is inviting Texans to join in the Great Texas Beer Run by visiting their favorite, local brewery that offers curbside pickup and purchase beer-to-go.
At the same time, there is a petition that has more than 17,000 signatures on it that aims to encourage Governor Abbott to allow craft breweries to do direct deliveries to customers in the same way that wineries and restaurants are during the pandemic.