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Lockdown Logbook

COVID Comebacks: Andrés Amaya & Andina Brewing


For BC breweries, 2020 has been a year like no other. To get specific about what the industry has been through, What’s Brewing has reached out to a number of BC breweries for an insider view of their experiences. Today, we feature the brightest brewery on the block: Yeast Van’s Andina Brewing. Let’s hear about how 2020 has gone from founder Andrés Amaya.

Q&A with Andres Amaya, Proprietor, Andina Brewing

Q: When the shutdown hit in March, how badly were you affected at first?

Andres Amaya

A: Extremely badly, as I am sure most of the places you’ve asked were; we had to shut down our tasting lounge, having to lay off 95% of our staff. As restaurants and pubs closed as well, our keg sales went to zero.

Q: What was demand like for you during the lockdown? How much did you shift to retail, packaging and online sales?

A: We maintained our lounge open for off-sales of canned product and food. Luckily, our customers were extremely supportive and demand was steady throughout the lock down. I would say that probably 90% went to retail, while 10% went to online sales. This was 100% of canned products.

Q: How much of your staffing have you been able to retain?

A: Again, we consider ourselves extremely lucky, we did not lose any of our staff as they all returned to work with us. As matter of fact, due to the Covid-19 health regulations,  we had to hire two additional team members to help us serve our customers.

Q: How was tasting room traffic for you after reopening this past summer?

A: In summer, our lounge got to about 50% of the normal traffic pre-COVID 19.

Head Brewer Ben Greenberg

Q: How have things gone with reopening? What was the most inconvenient aspect?

A: Everyone has had to adapt to the new way of doing things, which of course has been difficult with only 50% occupancy in our lounge. Having to ask customers to follow the protocols has certainly been a challenge for all our team members. Unfortunately, some people simply do not follow the rules.

Q: What’s your policy around growlers and refills? Any other noteworthy adjustments you’ve had to make?

A: We are providing growlers fills, but we are sanitizing them pre- and post-filling, making this a whole new process.

Q: Are you waiting on or affected by any legislation? What do you think the province or your municipal government should be doing next?

A: COVID-19 is here to stay and is not going anywhere until a proper vaccine is found. The patio/lounge extension allowance should be extended beyond October 31st—for at least one more year, if not permanently.

Andina Brewing Company

1507 Powell Street, Vancouver, BC
[email protected]

Andina Brewery Tour

Andina boasts a well-appointed tasting room up front, as well as a bonus lounge for rent in back!


What's Brewing

These articles are the work of the What's Brewing Editorial Group.

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