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Brewers Battle Covid-19

Brewers Battle Covid-19

Dogfish Head is supplying its scratch-made hand sanitizer at cost to the State of Delaware

By Tony Forder

It’s been nearly two weeks since the Covid-19 quarantine took effect for many of us. It began with people taking tentative steps on social distancing as the reality of the pandemic has gradually infiltrated and taken over our brains almost like the virus itself penetrates and takes over our lungs.

This awareness is a good thing, however, indeed it is the only weapon we really have to fight this invader. Awareness that we need to be socially responsible and stick to strict guidelines to help everyone. But, we still need beer. (I know my sixtel of Ramstein Maibock is almost dead. I didn’t drink it all myself – shared some sanitized growlers.)

Brewers are still brewing…and making beer available in socially responsible ways. Tasting rooms are effectively closed in most places, but pickup, and in many cases delivery, is widely available. These are challenging and unprecedented times for everyone, no less for our country’s 8,000+ breweries. Show your local brewery some love! Buy some beer, buy a gift card.
The Brewers Association has an active list of brewery operations in your state:

NJ Update – Gov. Phil Murphy at first OK’d home delivery by the states 115 brewereis and 25 distilleries, but later nixed the permission because someone allegedly told him it violates state law. We’re in an emergency Gov., some laws need to be suspended! According to the Brewers Association, breweries in 22 states can deliver right now, as well as brewpubs in 21 states. Breweries and brewpubs in four states can deliver only with a food order, breweries in 18 states are awaiting a ruling, and four states prohibit it altogether.

The website has current info on NYC brewery operations.

Breweries, Distilleries Pivot to Sanitizer

Coors Molson and AB-InBev announced plans to make hand sanitizer but if you don’t want macro, plenty of craft distilleries and breweries are planning to do the same. What they’re looking for though is a tax break. If the sanitizer is made with undenatured alcohol, or alcohol meant for human consumption, producers must pay a federal excise tax. Denatured alcohol is already exempt from the tax. An exemption to allow small distillers and brewers to make hand sanitizer is included in the Senate stimulus package. As of this writing House details are not clear.
The FDA also has concerns that undenatured alcohol could be consumed by teenagers and children.

Other Half Spearheads Global Collective

Other Half Brewing (OHB) is spearheading the All Together project, started by a collective of beer industry partners from around the globe, to raise awareness and provide relief to those struggling in the industry as we’re all in this together.

How does the project work? #AllTogetherBeer invites any brewer, from any corner of the planet, to participate by providing the tools needed to make the beer at the lowest possible cost, including an open-source recipe, artwork, and name. In exchange, the collective asks that a portion of the proceeds go to supporting hospitality professionals in each brewery’s own community. The rest should be donated to keeping the brewery in business to weather this storm.

RecipeOHB created a base recipe that easily brewed with commonly sourced ingredients. Each participating brewery can modify the beer as they see fit and brew it at their own convenience.

Artwork + Label: Stout Collective created the label artwork that can be customized by brewery, and Blue Label Printing has offered to print at cost.

WebsiteCraftpeak Team donated their time, talent & technology for the site.

Breweries can get involved by reaching out to for more information

White Labs Offers Free Webcasts

Yeast producers White Labs is offering its world-renowned educational courses online to commercial and home brewers. To provide brewers a forum to connect and learn as the industry feels the impacts of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the company is offering free, online educational webcasts from now until April 30, 2020.

Each Wednesday at 10 a.m. PDT, White Labs will broadcast a 60-minute educational webcast for home and commercial brewers that provides brewing insights, tips, tricks and even a little industry history. The first half hour will feature a presentation by an industry leader and during the second half hour, viewers can ask presenters questions from the comfort of their living room.

On April 1, White Labs president, founder and CEO Chris White will discuss yeast starters, trending strains and styles throughout the years.
To be notified about and sign up for the free Wednesday webcasts, visit and subscribe to the White Labs email list. All webcasts will also be added to the White Labs YouTube page.

If it’s Covid-19 beverage news you crave, VinePair has a live blog relating to Covid-19’s impact on the beverage industry.