WA could lose half its breweries if stay-at-home order lingers through summer

Apr 28, 2020, 5:21 AM
breweries, brewery...
Washington beers. (KIRO Radio, Chris Sullivan)
(KIRO Radio, Chris Sullivan)

Just like every other small business in the state, breweries are struggling to keep the lights on. For those that do not can or bottle their beers, survival will be very difficult the longer their tap rooms stay closed because of the governor’s order.

The Washington Brewing Commission’s Eric Radovich said the state’s 420 brewers are hanging in there, but not by much.

How WA construction sites are restarting work amid shutdown

“You’re getting 25% of your normal business, if you’re lucky,” Radovich said.

That 75% reduction in sales comes with plenty of job loss pain for brewery workers.

“I’d say about half of our full-time staff and nearly all of our part-time workers at these breweries are out of work,” Radovich said.

The bigger breweries, like Fremont and Georgetown for example, should be able to weather the storm, considering their canning abilities. It’s the small breweries, like those you find in strip malls and business parks, that only have tap rooms that will have a very difficult time.

“If we’re still in this stay-at-home status as we get into the summer months, we could potentially lose half of our breweries,” Radovich said. “That would be a good estimate.”

That’s why most breweries are getting really creative to get their beer to customers.

“Curbside, drive-thru pickup, to discounts on growler purchases. Some of our breweries are finding ways to do beer delivery.”

So if you want your favorite brewer to survive this crisis, you have to go spend some money on them. Here’s a list of breweries making their beers available right now.

Nationally, there is a concern over a lack of CO2, which breweries need for carbonation. Many of the plants that produce CO2 as a by-product and then sell it, have closed.

Production is down 30%, which has driven up prices by 25%. There is a concern that brewers and soda producers won’t be able to get this necessary ingredient. Some small breweries do have a CO2 recapturing system, but most don’t.

The other concern for beer drinkers is our Washington hop harvest, but that appears to be in good shape.

Local News

MyNorthwest Staff

UW Medicine study seeks local participants to understand COVID spread

UW Medicine invites Washington state residents up to age 85 to submit a survey about their exposure to COVID during the pandemic as part of a study.
18 hours ago
MyNorthwest Staff

Amazon hiring for more than 500 positions at new sort center in Fife

A new Amazon facility in Fife, Washington, that's set to open later this month has starting hiring for more than 500 positions.
18 hours ago
Nicole Jennings

Rural Eastern Washington hospitals say no big losses in staffing post-vaccine mandate

Some of the rural Eastern Washington hospitals that were expected to have big losses after the vaccine mandate say things are going well.
18 hours ago
Climate Pledge Arena...
Associated Press

Climate Pledge Arena ready to get Kraken for hockey debut

The first event ever inside Climate Pledge Arena — whether it will be considered the official first event or not — was far from a soft opening.
2 days ago
Some of the located containers, captured by the US Coast Guard Air Station Port Angeles helicopter....
KIRO 7 News Staff

Approximately 40 shipping containers adrift off Washington coast

Approximately 40 shipping containers were lost off a ship 43 miles west of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, according to the United States Coast Guard.
2 days ago
Kathryn Altena

Gov. Inslee, Washington groups prepare to welcome Afghan refugees

In the coming months, 1,400 Afghan refugees are expected to pass through the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport upon their arrival in Washington.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles


Medicare open enrollment for 2022 starts Oct. 15 and SHIBA can help!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]

How to Have a Stress-Free Real Estate Experience

The real estate industry has adapted and sellers are taking full advantage of new real estate models. One of which is Every Door Real Estate.
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for both lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.

Small, Minority-Owned Businesses in King County and Pierce County Can Now Apply For $10,000 Relief Grants Through Comcast RISE

Businesses in King County and Pierce County can apply beginning on October 1, 2021, at www.ComcastRISE.com for a chance to receive a $10,000 relief grant.
WA could lose half its breweries if stay-at-home order lingers through summer