Small businesses have been struggling to stay afloat during the COVID-19 outbreak. Local craft beer, cider and spirits purveyors are finding ways to persist by distributing products through a variety of takeout, curbside pickup and delivery options.
Brad Nelson of Earth Rider Brewery said the loss of taproom sales as well as partner restaurant and bar sales during the pandemic has hit most craft breweries hard but notes that support from loyal patrons has been heartening. “Takeout beer sales from the taproom have shot up and our online community has tightened,” Nelson said.
Dave Hoops of Hoops Brewing expressed concern for customers and employee safety during the pandemic. The brewery is offering crowlers for curbside pickup. “We are anxious about the future of our business and everyone’s health, but I’m on board and following the rules closely,” he said, adding “We have also done OK with curbside as many have gone out of their way to support us.”
Though the Hoops beer hall is closed, production continues and there’s “no shortage of good beer,” according to Hoops. The brewery had 28 brews on tap at last count and new styles are on the way, including some German lagers and a session IPA.
Some businesses have been getting creative in keeping customer attention during this time. Vikre Distillery stepped up its social media presence. It’s offering reassuring “socially distancing together” videos on Instagram with lessons on how to cope with bars being closed by making simple cocktails at home. The distillery is now selling DIY cocktail kits with half bottles of its spirits, along with additional ingredients like housemade tonic, and recipes.
Earth Rider has been hosting virtual beer-paired dinners with local restaurants and virtual performances in its Cedar Lounge taproom, “Our virtual beer-paired dinners and live performances from the taproom have given our community a chance to gather virtually,” said Nelson. “We can’t wait to have a beer with everyone again when this is behind us!”
A law went into effect on Saturday that permits restaurants in Minnesota to temporarily sell beer, wine, cider or hard seltzer along with food takeout orders, which could help ease some revenue loss for local restaurants as well as breweries and cideries.
Alcohol Takeout Options
Note: Facebook links are included for businesses below because they tend to be updated frequently. As the COVID-19 situation is fluid, please check the websites and social media pages of individual establishments or contact them directly to make sure the info below is up to date.
Bent Paddle Brewing | Facebook page
Offering to-go and curbside pickup of growlers, crowlers and merchandise at the taproom (which has enhanced sanitation procedures for safety) Tuesday through Saturday from 2 to 6 p.m. Orders can be called in ahead at 218-279-2722, ext. 320.
Blacklist Brewing | Facebook page
Order crowlers and merchandise online and pick up from the taproom on Thursdays and Fridays from 4 to 6 p.m. Or walk up to the garage door on Superior Street on Saturdays from 2 to 6 p.m. Call ahead: 218-606-1610.
Canal Park Brewing | Facebook page
Offering food and beer takeout and curbside pickup and delivery, Monday through Saturday from 4 to 8 p.m. Now featuring buy one, get one free takeout and curbside crowlers (as of April 20). Beer delivery is also available, call between noon and 3 p.m. for delivery between 5 to 7 p.m. Order ahead: 218-464-4790.
Castle Danger Brewery | Facebook page
Taproom is closed for now. Check local liquor stores for products, including new variety 12-packs that include: Castle Cream Ale, Ode IPA, 17-7 American Pale Ale and North Shore Lager.
Dubh Linn Brew Pub | Facebook page
Curbside pickup and delivery of food and growlers (along with cans of cider and bottles of wine) Tuesday through Saturday from 4 to 7:30 p.m. Hours will extend to 8:30 p.m. starting April 26. Call 218-727-1559 to place an order.
Duluth Cider | Facebook page
Walk-up window and “touchless” sales of crowlers and growlers from 2 to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, noon to 7 p.m. on Friday and noon to 3 p.m. on weekends. The Oasis Del Norte taco truck will be parked at Duluth Cider for To-Go Taco Tuesdays for the foreseeable future.
Earth Rider Brewery | Facebook page
Selling takeout crowlers, six-packs and kegs (as well as snacks and merchandise) from the Cedar Lounge taproom every day from noon to 6 p.m. Orders can be called in ahead: 715-394-7391. A plexiglass service window has been installed for added protection. Buy one, get one free crowlers are available to first responders and medical personnel.
Fitger’s Brewhouse Brewery and Grille | Facebook page
Curbside pickup and delivery of food and beer available. Visit the website to order online or call 218-279-2739. Beer delivery of crowlers and growlers also available on Thursdays and Fridays from 4 to 6 p.m. Call ahead to order: 218-390-5114.
Hoops Brewing | Facebook page
Daily curbside crowler pickup. Customers can order via the website with a credit card or call the beer hall 218-721-8880 (2 to 5:45 p.m.) to place an order. Pickup is every day from 2 to 6 p.m. On Mondays, healthcare workers can receive two free crowlers (while supplies last).
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