As small businesses face uncertainties, the Brewers Association is generating support for small breweries to help them maintain their businesses throughout the holiday season and into the next phase of the COVID-19 crisis.
A national beer holiday, Small Brewery Sunday, is set to return on November 29 for a second year to give a much-needed boost to local breweries, brewpubs, and taprooms throughout the holiday season. Created by the Brewers Association (BA)—the not-for-profit trade association representing small and independent American craft brewers—the event encourages beer lovers to celebrate on the Sunday after Thanksgiving and beyond.
“This has been a devastating year for craft brewers, as they’ve faced shutdowns, decreased sales, layoffs, and an aluminum can shortage. Our most recent member survey revealed only 78 percent of small breweries are confident that they’ll still be open at this time next year,” said Bob Pease, president and CEO of the Brewers Association, in a press release.
This year’s holiday is especially significant, given the uncertain outlook for small businesses impacted by the pandemic. Almost 100,000 small businesses in the U.S. have closed permanently since the COVID-19 crisis began, according to a recent Yelp analysis.
For this year’s Small Brewery Sunday, BA is encouraging several different ways to show support while staying safe, such as by purchasing gift cards, six packs, and merchandise during the holiday season. Many small brewers offer the option of curbside pickup or at-home delivery if safely visiting a local brewery is not possible, BA notes.
According to BA, more than two-thirds of Americans live within 10 miles of a craft brewery. It adds that in 2019, the industry contributed $82 billion to the U.S. economy, employed more than 580,000 Americans, and provided charitable contributions worth more than $80 million.
Amid the global pandemic and economic crisis, however, many breweries have experienced declining sales—down about 22 percent in the third quarter of 2020, according to BA’s recent member survey. The survey also reported that approximately two-thirds of at-the-brewery sales during the third quarter occurred outdoors, indicating that winter will be the make-it-or-break-it season as colder temperatures arrive and service moves indoors.
“It’s crucial for beer lovers to support their local brewery, taproom, or brewpub throughout these next few critical months and beyond,” Pease said.