The Brewers Association (BA), Boulder, Colo., partnered with Bottleshare, a fundraising nonprofit dedicated to the craft beverage community, to create the Believe in Beer Fund to support breweries and state brewers guilds impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. The fund is open for breweries and guilds from across the country to apply for immediate financial assistance for operational expenses such as payroll, rent and utilities.
According to a poll conducted by the Brewers Association earlier this month, 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, the poll found.
“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 chief executive officer of the 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.”
Through the end of American Craft Beer Week on May 17, beer lovers can contribute to the fund by visiting charity.gofundme.com/believe-in-beer-relief-fund. 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. “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.”