OAKLAND, Calif. — For the craft brewing industry in the San Francisco Bay Area, the rapid spread of the coronavirus has forced many breweries to close until further notice, some to go out of business entirely, and others to quickly pivot their businesses in hopes of keeping their employees and means of survival afloat.
The breweries that have remained selling to the public have largely switched to takeout (to-go) options, and in some cases, delivery straight to individuals’ homes. Breweries throughout the Bay Area are now offering crowlers or pre-packaged cans in lieu of serving customers within their taprooms.
For many breweries, the traditional supply and demand through fulfilling bar and restaurant accounts, serving drinkers in their taprooms or promoting upcoming can releases has been turned upside down. It’s now a battle to keep revenue funneling into the company to provide for their employees and cover their overhead.
“Our ability to continue to maintain payroll for a large percentage of our employees is first and foremost for us,” said Barry Braden, co-founder of Fieldwork Brewing. “And keeping money coming in for them and being able to pay our bills is all we’re focused on right now.”
Alongside the strategic pivot to takeout beer options, breweries that allow customers to pickup beer have instituted safety regulations for both customers and employees. Most breweries have shortened their public hours, while keeping customer interaction to a minimum by either transacting business at the brewery entrance, offering curbside pickup, or allowing customers to order beer ahead of time online, limiting the amount of time a customer spends at the brewery picking up their beer.
As the impact of the coronavirus has widened in the last few weeks, breweries have had to quickly adjust on sometime a daily basis based on the direction from the various levels of government. Being able to serve the public and keep funds flowing into the brewery while adhering to the guidance of shelter-in-place and essential business operation mandates creates an environment where Bay Area breweries are treading with care.
For many craft beer lovers in the Bay Area who might want to keep their refrigerators stocked to weather the elongating crisis, the silver lining is that many Bay Area breweries are still opening up daily to get fresh beer into those drinkers’ hands.
“We’re going to switch to canning much more beer than we have in the past,” said Braden. “And that’s because if this persists for some period of time, we’re able to — via pickup and delivery — get beer into peoples’ hands.”
**Below is a list of breweries within the Bay Area that are currently still selling to the public via takeout or delivery options.
This list is by no means comprehensive, and availability is subject to change, so please check with the brewery directly on their website or social media for the latest availability.**
Fieldwork Brewing – Delivery (all locations, sans-Napa), Takeout
Barebottle Brewing – Takeout (San Francisco, Santa Clara)
21st Amendment Brewing – Takeout (San Francisco, San Leandro)
Cellarmaker Brewing – Takeout (at House of Pizza), Delivery
Local Brewing – Takeout, Delivery
Laughing Monk Brewing – Takeout
Harmonic Brewing – Takeout
Black Hammer Brewing – Takeout, Delivery (at their Willkommen location)
Gilman Street Brewing – Takeout
Drake’s Barrel House – Takeout
Original Pattern Brewing – Pickup (delivery to follow)
Calicraft Brewing – Takeout (delivery to follow)
Temescal Brewing – Delivery, Staff Relief Fund
Almanac Brewing – Takeout
Armistice Brewing – Takeout
Faction Brewing – Takeout
Novel Brewing – Takeout
Altamont Brewing – Takeout
Shadow Puppet Brewing – Takeout
Eight Bridges Brewing – Takeout
Alpha Acid Brewing – Takeout
Blue Oak Brewing – Takeout (hours to fluctuate)
47 Hills Brewing – Takeout
Strike Brewing – Takeout
Clandestine Brewing – Takeout
Camino Brewing – Takeout (delivery to follow)
Fogbelt Brewing – Takeout
Russian River Brewing – Takeout (the Santa Rosa brewery only)
HenHouse Brewing – Takeout (both Santa Rosa, Petaluma)
Crooked Goat Brewing – Takeout
Sonoma Springs Brewing – Takeout