Updated: Apr 14
In the first post of our #ZurichBeerTour blog we want to talk about #Coronavirus and its effect on breweries, brewpubs, bottle shops and everything else connected to selling or serving beer. What the current crisis means for us as Zurich Beer Tour is that we had to postpone the start of it for an unknown time. We were almost ready to start when this pandemic hit Switzerland and almost everything had to shut down. But we are very positive that as soon as we have the possibility to visit pubs and restaurants again, we are going to start and help our partners and the beer scene in #Zurich and #Switzerland regain its former strength.
What is the impact of the Corona crisis on Swiss breweries?
A short research on this topic shows that the numbers of lost revenue vary a lot between different breweries, depending on their size, location and output channels. According to PilatusToday the lost revenue of different breweries in central Switzerland is between 50% and 90%. With supermarkets and bottleshops still open, breweries like #Doppelleu from Winterthur are not hit as hard because their main sales channels are through retail. And also for most of the bigger breweries surviving two or three months without sales in pubs and restaurants is possible.
For other smaller breweries it is way harder. Selling 90% of your beer in bars and pubs means almost no revenue at the moment. Plus high quality craft beer has to be served as fresh as possible (especially the hoppy ones) which means there is currently a lot of beer going down the drain. There are breweries that have to keep brewing even if they can't sell all of their beer. If they stop brewing the ingredients they already have will go bad and they also have to keep their machines running.
How did the beer scene and social media react?
Breweries and pubs had to come up with ideas to sell their beer through other channels. A lot of them put up an online shop in just a couple of days, others were offering free delivery to the consumer's door via social media. Some craft beer bars are offering vouchers online which you can use to get some tasty beers as soon as they open up again. You can check them out on saveourfaves.ch
The guys from Bierversuche.ch have put together a huge list of breweries and craft beer shops that sell online or even offer pickup possibilities.
What happend next shows us what a great community the craft beer scene is. Everyone was posting, sharing and making stories on every social media platoform you can imagine. People shared their arrived boxes of beer, sent thank you messages to the breweries and showed us how and where they enjoyed their freshly delivered hop juices and malt smoothies. We personally made our contribution to one of the funniest instagram story challenges out there #covid19craftbeergymchallenge.
It has to be said that the sales occuring through all these online channels will not cover all the lost revenues for the breweries. But it still helps them keep producing beer and thanks to all this media coverage they are getting more popular amongst beer drinkers. Many beer consumers who would normally buy their beer at a supermarket have now ordered a 24 pack at their local brewery.
And this is exactly the best way to help our local breweries and pubs - give them shoutouts on social media and order their beer instead of the mass produced beers you can buy in the supermarket. They may be a little more expensive than your usual lager, but hey, with no clubs, bars and travel, you are saving money at the moment anyway. Give it to your local businesses and help them survive. We're in this #together #supportlocalbusiness
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