For BC breweries, 2020 has been a year like no other. To get specific about what the craft beer industry has been through, What’s Brewing reached out to a number of BC breweries for an insider view of their experiences, and featured excerpts in our Fall Issue.
Today, we feature the full conversation with Fort St. John’s Mighty Peace Brewing Co. Let’s hear about how 2020 has gone from Sales Manager Megan Durno.
Q&A With Mighty Peace Brewing
Q: Mighty Peace has been around since 2018 but is still a relatively young brewery. How bad was the shock when COVID hit in March?
A: It was a great shock to our business and whole team when the lockdown happened. As soon as we were advised to end our table service, we were no longer able to have all our taproom and kitchen staff working. We went from about 15 staff members to 4.
Q: What was demand like for you during the lockdown? How much did you shift to retail, packaging and online sales?
A: We switched over to only retail/off-sales during the lockdown. We kept very limited hours in our taproom just for people to come fill their growlers, get 6-packs and kegs.
An unexpected positive of our taproom closing was that our wholesale program really took off. We started delivering more beer to liquor stores and restaurants around the Peace region.
Q: How much of your staffing have you been able to retain?
A: We have been able to keep almost all our staff, but with being at half capacity in the taproom we do not have the same number of hours to give.
Q: How have things gone with reopening? What was the most inconvenient aspect?
A: Reopening has gone rather smoothly; we are fortunate to have an extremely supportive community and we are happy to see so many familiar faces back in the taproom. The only inconvenience we experience is spacing. We have a cozy taproom, so we cannot fit as many tables as we once had.
Q: Tasting rooms around BC are open again, with reduced capacity. How is traffic for you?
A: Thanks to our community, our traffic is quite steady!
Q: What’s your policy around growlers and refills? Any other noteworthy adjustments you’ve had to make?
A: We are still allowing people to refill their growlers, we just sanitize them thoroughly before refilling.
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: We appreciate that our provincial and municipal governments are staying cautious and current with the outlines provided by health care officials. We are happy with the guidelines they have provided thus far.