Local beer and cider makers are facing slashed revenues as they begin offering to-go six-pack and crowler sales exclusively following a city of Austin mandate that all restaurants and bars cease dine-in services immediately.
On March 17, Austin Mayor Steve Adler and Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt ordered all restaurants and bars to shut down dine-in service and prohibited gatherings of more than 10 people until at least May 1. The move further implements social distancing—a technique that experts and officials say is necessary to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.
“The overwhelming majority of our business is selling to bars and restaurants,” said Ben Sabel, president, founder and brewer at Circle Brewing. “Not having work for the next six weeks is devastating.”
Circle Brewing, alongside a handful of other North Austin breweries, is immediately adapting its sales model and is now offering to-go sales. Beginning March 17, Circle Brewing is offering curbside beer sales.
Hopsquad Brewing Co., which opened in late December, reported to Community Impact Newspaper that it has already had to release employees from current and future shifts.
“It is unfortunate, but if we can’t be open, we can't have them around. ... If our to-go sales do alright, we’ll probably slowly bring [our employees back in,” Hopsquad founder and head brewer Alex Limon said. “It is going to be a big hit, there is no getting around that.”
Limon said the brewery will also sell 32-ounce crowlers of its beer throughout the city’s health mandate.
Read below to see how North Austin breweries and cider makers are adjusting as well as information on where and how curbside beer pickups can be ordered.
4TH TAP BREWING CO-OP
Erin Stecker, co-founder and owner/operator of 4th Tap Brewing Co-Op, told Community Impact Newspaper the brewery is launching a curbside beer purchase service. The brewery will sell its six-packs and 32-ounce crowlers of its draught beer while the taproom is closed.
Backdraft Pizza, the food truck located in the brewery’s parking lot, will sell pizza to-go, Stecker said.
“We have food, and we have beer, and you don't even need to get out of your car,” Stecker said.
Customers can purchase up to one case of beer from the brewery daily, the maximum amount allowed by state law. Stecker said customers should call ahead with beer orders before coming to pick up from the brewery.
Curbside hours: 3-7 p.m. daily
Austin Beerworks is selling beer to go through a curbside pickup, according to posts on the brewery's social media platforms. Austin Beerworks is offering six-packs, bottles and crowler fills for customers to purchase. Customers will soon be able to submit pickup orders through the brewery's website, according to a Facebook post from Austin Beerworks.
Celis Brewing will sell six-packs of its beer to go from its taproom, up to one case per person, according to posts across the brewery’s social media platforms.
Beer to go hours: Mon.-Fri. 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Sabel said Circle Brewing will shift to curbside service, selling six-packs of its product. Customers can preorder beer by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or driving up to the curbside sales tent at the brewery. Beer can be purchased with credit card only, no cash.
Curbside hours: Mon.-Fri. 3-6 p.m., Sat.-Sun. 1-4 p.m.
HOPSQUAD BREWING CO.
Hopsquad does not sell six-packs out of its brewery, but Limon said the brewery will sell 32-ounce crowlers of its draught beer through a curbside service. Customers are asked to call ahead to place an order.
Tsuke Honten, the food truck located adjacent to Hopsquad, will continue to serve takeout food.
Curbside hours: Wed.-Fri. 3-8 p.m., Sat.-Sun. noon-8 p.m.
NORTH BY NORTHWEST BREWING CO.
North by Northwest Brewing Co. will reopen with beer and food to go March 19, according to a post on the brewpub's website. Customers can call in to order crowler fills to pick up.