How will the Coronavirus effect the Craft Brewing industry? No one knows how long this situation is going to last. We are living in a time of much uncertainty and anxiety.
It has been interesting watching the response of craft breweries on Instagram. It seems like they have been following the same playbook. A few days ago a good deal of them released long statements about watching this situation closely, keeping the tap rooms clean and staying open. Then a good deal of them closed and started offering curbside pick-up. Now they are still offering curbside pick-up and gift cards.
Where is the differentiation? These craft breweries do not have the same target audience. They are asking for folks to help support them. We should try to support our local businesses during this time. However, there is a good deal of uncertainty. We do not know how long this will last. A good deal of industries are reeling. I believe folks are playing it safe because we do not know what the future holds.
Now is the time for craft breweries to differentiate. Now is the time to focus on their target audience. How can breweries serve them in this time? What can be done digitally? Could trivia still occur online? Could breweries hold have online lunch and learns to educate folks about different brewing practices? Fairhope Brewing Co. is showing they are a partner with the community by teaming up with Feeding the Gulf Coast to collect perishable foods.
Being different and building relationships with folks in the tribe you serve will help you make it through this time.