Bingeing “Tiger King” and working on a good beer buzz are the only two things we can all agree on. Headlines across the country have made it clear — Americans are drinking their way through the COVID-19 pandemic.
But behind bloodshot eyes, craft brewers across the United States are confronting a sobering reality. Unfortunately, this boom in alcohol sales has not translated to the thousands of small, local and independent brewers we have all come to love over the past few decades. While some alcohol producers have experienced historic sales spikes in recent weeks, a survey conducted by the Brewers Association reports that most breweries have seen sales plummet by at least 70%. The pain is so drastic that well over half of breweries indicate that they will not survive the next three months if they must continue operating under current conditions.
The ripple effects of this doomsday scenario cannot be overstated. Directly and indirectly, the U.S. beer industry employs 2 million people. It is the product of a long, interconnected value chain with critical economic implications; Michigan’s beer industry alone is worth nearly $1 billion.
Read the full op-ed at USA Today.