Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Has anyone noticed it's Craft Beer Week?

Sadly, breweries are closed across the country or open only for take out of food or beverage. Some are offering delivery. is offering a nationwide list of to-go beer options so you can get your favorite suds. You may find, as I did, that this list is incomplete. Check with your favorite local brewery if you don't see them listed, order some beer. Fetch it or get it delivered. This, should be considered essential travel.

While Washington breweries are hoping to open by June 1, according to Washington Beer Blog, MyNorthwest predicts we could see as many as half close if stay-at-home orders continue beyond that. This would be tragic not only for beer drinkers but also for the economy, particularly of Washington State, as they are "an important role in manufacturing, agriculture and the food supply chain." The News Tribune explains that Washington breweries, for example, not only have an economic impact of $1.4 billion, they employ 6,300 people and support agriculture by buying hops (of which 75% of the US supply is grown in Washington) as well as by feeding livestock with spent grain which is a byproduct of the brewing process. Breweries also buy barley, supporting the agriculture in western states such as Idaho, Montana, and North Dakota.

Clearly, all breweries deserve our support.

Coincidentally, this weeks is also Double Stars Week at Starbucks. That means you earn double the stars (or points) towards free food and beverages if you have a registered Starbucks card. While I've wondered which habits will be broken and which will be reestablished after businesses reopen, it appears the coffee addiction is well intact. I've witnessed long lines of cars snaking around Starbucks locations with drive-through lanes as Starbucks stores are reopening for drive through and take-out coffee.

Meanwhile, alcohol sales have increased during this pandemic so while we may lose some brewery locations (like the well-established Pyramid Alehouse in Seattle), I predict they won't be gone for long. The craft beer community is resilient. And, we are thirsty.

So, celebrate Craft Beer this week in support of your local craft brewer. They want to know you're out there and that they're appreciated. And, we want them to keep brewing the craft beer we've come to love.