They’re using their equipment and raw materials to make hand sanitizer. They’re providing meals to their brewery employees, their distributor partners and to nonprofits in their communities. And they’re donating money to help bartenders and service industry workers displaced because of widespread bar and restaurant closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
For Molson Coors Beverage Co.’s craft breweries, it is not business as usual. Each of the company’s six craft partners are rallying behind relief efforts in response to the virus, which has sickened hundreds of thousands across the globe and resulted in sweeping shelter-in-place orders and kneecapped commerce.
They’ve joined parent Molson Coors’ charitable efforts in response to the spread of COVID-19, which includes a donation of 50,000 cans of water to the Salvation Army Intermountain Division in Denver, Colo., that was announced today, as well as a $1 million donation pledged last week to the United States Bartenders’ Guild, a nonprofit that supports bartenders and other service industry professionals.
“Craft brewers were built beer by beer in their hometowns and they are all about community,” said Paul Verdu, vice president of Tenth and Blake, Molson Coors’ U.S. craft arm. “Doing the right thing to lift up our communities, including our retailer and distributor partners, to lend a hand to the very people who helped establish these businesses isn’t a heavy lift for our craft brewers because that’s who they are as people and that’s what their businesses are all about."
Here's a look at some of the efforts:
AC Golden is donating $20,000 to the Colorado Restaurant Association on behalf of its Colorado Native brand. The proceeds are earmarked to helping service industry members who are out of work because of state-mandated shutdowns. The Golden, Colo.-based brewery also is supporting distributors by helping with merchandising efforts in off-premise retail accounts.
Atwater, which Molson Coors said in January it would acquire in a deal expected to close in the coming weeks, is using its Detroit distillery to make hand sanitizer amid limited nationwide supply. The first of an estimated 300 bulk gallons rolled off the line this morning, and it plans to make up to 2,000 gallons next week. The brewer is working with Michigan authorities to ensure the product is distributed to areas in which there’s the most critical need.
Hop Valley Brewing
Hop Valley in Eugene, Ore., is providing food for its local distributor to feed their warehouse crews, many of whom have been working extended hours to help meet growing demand amid consumer stock-ups in response to shelter-in-place orders. It also is partnering with its distributors to assist in retail merchandising.
Leinenkugel’s is providing 165 barrels of bulk beer to the neighboring Chippewa River Distillery in Wisconsin this week for use in the manufacture of hand sanitizer. The Chippewa Falls brewery also is purchasing lunch all week for its brewery employees and nearby distributor partner from local restaurants that carry its beer products, with the two-pronged goal of supporting local restaurants while their on-site dining operations are halted and helping employees and distributor crews working long hours to push more beer into off-premise retailers.
Revolver Brewing is working with a nearby distillery to convert bulk beer into hand sanitizer. It also is working with distributors to feed their crews on the front lines of transporting and merchandising beer and ordering lunch for its Granbury, Texas, brewery workers daily to support local restaurants.
Saint Archer Brewing is donating $1 to the United States Bartenders’ Guild for every case sold out of its California tasting rooms. The San Diego brewery also is providing meals to retail stores and distributors and helping distributors with merchandising efforts in off-premise retailers.
Terrapin Beer Co.
Terrapin plans to donate a percentage of sales from its to-go beer sales to “Giving Kitchen,” an Atlanta-based nonprofit that provides emergency assistance to food service workers through financial support and a network of community resources. The Athens, Ga.-based brewer is also providing meals to its production teams from local restaurants and helping distributors in portions of its footprint to make deliveries and merchandise shelves in grocery and convenience stores.
Molson Coors, meanwhile, said today it is donating 50,000 cans of water to the Salvation Army Intermountain Division in Denver, Colo., to assist with the organization’s COVID-19 relief efforts.
The water, expected to arrive March 26, will be distributed to the metro area’s homeless and others in shelters who lack access to clean drinking water due to restrictions on drinking fountains aimed to stop the spread of the virus.
“These are unprecedented times with the spread of COVID-19. Now, more than ever, we must come together as a community to help each other stay safe and healthy throughout this crisis,” said Michael Nordman, community affairs director for Molson Coors Beverage Company. “We hope this donation provides relief to Denver’s most vulnerable population at a time of great need.”
Maj. Mike Dickinson, commander of the Salvation Army Intermountain Divisional, said his organization is “so grateful for the generosity of Molson Coors Brewing Company and their donation 50,000 cans of water to help our community members affected by the coronavirus. The Salvation Army is hard at work serving those affected by the pandemic and we couldn’t do it without partners like them.”
The water is part of a Molson Coors effort launched in partnership with Broomfield, Colo.-based Ball Corp. in 2017 to assist communities in crisis. It is canned at the Molson Coors brewery in Trenton, Ohio, and stored and shipped from its Shenandoah brewery in Elkton, Va.
Graphic Packaging International donated the 12-pack cartons, and Sunteck TTS donated the transportation services to deliver the water to Denver.