How Breweries are Helping Their Employees Amid Virus

With millions of Americans facing unemployment, and a record 3.28 million applying for unemployment last week — five times higher than the previous record, according to Labor Department Data — breweries are taking measures to ensure their employees’ well-being during this pandemic.

Short’s Brewing in Michigan is putting in place an emergency loan fund for its staff which will help take care of its employees’ basic needs. The brewery recently launched a t-shirt with a beer glass, saying “I Support Pub Life” and proceeds will be donated to the staff emergency fund.

To keep as many employees working as possible, Short’s has a full food menu with growler fills and packaged beer to-go available for carry out every day. They deliver to the three communities that surround the brewery.

Woods Boss Brewing Company in Denver, Colorado is doing anything it can to help its employees. 

We have had to furlough about half of our folks but have kept as many as we can to run whatever operations we can,” said Jordan Fink, head brewer and co-owner of the brewery.

Woods Boss is selling beer to-go in crowlers, so a couple of employees run that, while the brewery is getting delivery operations running to give work to another employee.

“We also sent furlough letters to the rest so that they can apply for unemployment as ‘Job Attached,’ hopefully making the process easier for them,” Fink said. “Finally, we are having weekly video conference calls with the entire staff so we can stay in touch and keep them in the loop on everything we are doing and everything we know.”

To keep operations inside the brewery safe, the number of staff allowed in the building has been limited, and social distancing between staff and customers is being enforced.

“We are doing A LOT of cleaning and sanitizing on all surfaces and constantly, providing gloves for all employees, sanitizing crowlers as we fill them. We have also required employees that should they experience any symptoms to inform us immediately and not come into the brewery,” Fink added.

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