May 28, 2020
Welcome to this episode of Sightlines. I’m Bryan Roth.
As cities and states start to reopen and the siren call of warmer weather encourages people to test the boundaries of self-isolation, the ramifications of the coronavirus linger. Much worry has been focused on our local and national economies, and while breweries have been a part of that, the impact of COVID-19 stretches further.
In this episode, we’re going to find out what the last few months have been like for state and national brewers guilds—the organizations that are formed to support, represent, and promote breweries all around the country. In normal times, these groups help to lobby for updated laws or market brewery members as a way to get customers to come out and visit. Both of these tasks have taken a back seat for guilds, particularly as they find themselves fighting for financial stability like so many others.
Along with every state’s own guild, the Brewers Association serves as the national body for this collection of organizations, which are meant to act collectively for the good of U.S. craft beer.
But 2020 has thrown business as usual to the side. The leadership of these guilds is now focused on what they’re meant to do in a crisis, and figuring that out in real-time. What happens when the organizations meant to support you—especially during bad times—can barely support themselves?