Breweries from all over the state have had to make a lot changes in order to keep business going.
The Bismarck Brewery opened up in 2018. While it started off strong, the pandemic has hit hard.
Owner of Bismarck Brewing Jordan Everaert says, “Initially it was pretty bad. I was getting pretty quiet and I was getting stressed out this might be the end of things.”
Everaert never imagined a pandemic would hit after only opening up his brewery 2 years ago.
“We didn’t know what was going to happen when we weren’t allowed to do on-sale and people could only get off-sale only,” says Everaert. “I didn’t know if we were ever going to get people in the doors.”
He says he’s lucky to even get 50 percent of normal sales. He’s had to start doing things like buy one get one free growlers just to entice customers to come out.
Everaert says, “You hear in other countries oh you know it’s so bad here that they aren’t going to open until next year. And it’s like if we are in that spot how are we going to adapt to survive because we have to figure out something.”
Fortunately he has a small staff and never had to let anyone go, but did have to cut down their hours. He says his biggest issue… is not getting to do his in-person tours.
“Tours were a huge part of what we did. We did one every single month and had 20 people come for it,” says Everaert. “And it was a big thing because people like to see how a brewery works. You know you spend all this money on a fancy brewery you might as well show it off.”
However, this situation has made him think outside of the box. He held his first online brewery tour, which he hopes will help with business but there are still a lot of issues.
“We can’t get growlers right now until July,” says Everaert. “That’s part of why we did ‘buy one get one growler fills’… you know to lessen the impact on our growler inventory because I knew they were getting low around the country and we didn’t have the income to buy more either.”
Everaert says he has had some good days, but there are still a lot of bad ones and it’s the uncertainty that really gets to him.
Although he remains hopeful through it all.
“I kind of found that spark and that passion again when you lose when you’re doing the day to day stuff. But we are all in it together and ‘rise in tide floats all boats is what we always say at the Brewers Guild.If we help each other out it helps everybody.”
Everaert says all the breweries in the area have come together to help each other out and continue to find ways to keep business going back to normal.