March has been an impactful month for the entire world. Our focus, our lifestyle and our daily routines have been completely altered by this current COVID-19 pandemic. Craft breweries are just one of many industries that are being heavily impacted during this time, yet the amount of resiliency that will continue to be seen, as we push forward, is quite inspiring. A lot of negativity has been brought to light surrounding the COVID-19 virus, so this is a great opportunity for us to take that ‘pint glass half-full’ outlook on these circumstances as it relates to craft beer.
This situation, now more than ever, gives consumers the opportunity to shift their focus on supporting local business. If there is one thing that hasn’t changed through these trying times, it is the high-quality craft beer being produced by more than 7,000 breweries in the United States. For those with the ability to continue supporting breweries, purchasing beer and food to-go can have a positive impact on the sustained success of these businesses. Seeing breweries push forward to continue supplying their products in the most safe and responsible ways possible, shows a lot of initiative and flexibility.
Another aspect of this current situation which is important to highlight is the expected rise in residential food waste. With mandatory bar and restaurant closures in many states as well as the push for social distance and quarantine, the amount of meals being eaten in U.S. homes will be increasing. The positive side of this? We now have the opportunity to better educate those living with us as well as implement practices in our homes to reduce food waste. We see steps that have been taken by craft breweries to reduce their food waste on a large scale; we now have the chance as consumers to carry on similar actions which have been highlighted by so many sustainable breweries. The Iowa Waste Reduction Center has provided information for ideas on how to reduce food waste while isolated at home.
The ways in which our communities have come together during this time, are perhaps the largest positive outcome that can be taken away from the current situation. Community involvement and outreach have always been important aspects of many brewery’s mission, and that rings true now more than ever. Communities are relying on others to support local economies and overall public health, and small craft breweries among other local businesses will be in need of that support in coming weeks and months. Communities who can build that trust and develop those partnerships will bring about solutions.
In these uncertain times, it’s beneficial for us to keep an eye on the positives, and to continue looking towards future sustainable growth. The health and safety of ourselves and those around us take top priority. We are entering uncharted territories, and change will be inevitable. Our businesses, communities and environment will need support in new ways and we will need help from others to make meaningful, positive changes.
We will all get through this time together, and come out stronger and more unified than ever. Small acts such as supporting local breweries can go a long way. Let’s stay safe and continue drinking sustainably brewed beer.
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Iowa Waste Reduction Center