This past week, the Brewers Association partnered with Bottleshare, a fundraising nonprofit dedicated to the craft beverage community, to create the Believe in Beer Fund. This new fundraiser has been initiated to support breweries and state brewers’ guilds that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Believe in Beer Fund is now accepting applications from breweries and guilds to apply for immediate financial assistance for expenses such as payroll, rent, and utilities.
According to a poll conducted by the Brewers Association in early April, most, if not all independent craft breweries have been severely impacted by COVID-19, as evidenced by a sharp drop in craft category sales, massive furloughs or layoffs, and the high likelihood of a large number of brewery closures while under social distancing mandates. A majority of breweries do not think their business can last three months given current conditions.
“This is a very challenging time for breweries and their livelihoods are at risk. We hope creating this relief fund with Bottleshare will provide an answer to the most common question beer lovers have been asking during this unprecedented time: ‘How can I help?’” said Bob Pease, president and CEO, Brewers Association, in a statement. “The craft beer community is rooted in collaboration and philanthropy, and now is our chance to come together and give back to our most vulnerable breweries.”
To contribute to the Believe in Beer Fund, Bottleshare has set up a Go Fund Me account that is now accepting donations through the end of American Craft Beer Week that concludes on May 17, 2020. The goal is quite lofty at $1,000,000. As of this posting, the fundraiser has raised slightly over $3,000, so they have a long way to go.
Relief funds will be available to breweries and state guilds that demonstrate immediate financial need due to COVID-19 and meet the outlined criteria. Those in need can find more information at https://www.thebottleshare.org/breweries-and-guilds and apply for a grant at https://www.thebottleshare.org/grant-application. Bottleshare will review applications and select recipients based on need.
“Bottleshare was created to support industry workers and their families when they experience hardships,” said Christopher Glenn, founder of Bottleshare, in a statement. “During this uncertain time, when support is needed more than ever, we’re proud to join efforts with the Brewers Association to reciprocate the love and strength that characterize the craft beer community and help the breweries that make it so special.”
For more information on the Believe in Beer Fund, please visit https://www.thebottleshare.org/breweries-and-guilds.
The Brewers Association has also created a Coronavirus Resource Center to provide small and independent craft brewers with an evolving collection of resources to help weather the storm. All Brewers Association-authored resources relating to COVID-19 are available for free to both members and nonmembers.