It’s not just the American craft beer industry that is struggling during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Predictably, perhaps, the effects of COVID-19 have sent craft beer industries into downward spirals in other countries as well, and Canada is not immune.
The Craft Brewers Association of Canada conducted a recent survey of small breweries across the breadth of the large country, and the finding were not exactly encouraging. After speaking with more than 300 breweries, the survey found the following:
— Of the breweries surveyed, 91% were younger than 10 years old.
— Of all breweries surveyed, 61% responded by saying that their cash reserves would last the brewery less than three months—in some cases, much less.
— Around 5% of breweries have closed “temporarily” during the crisis, although who knows how many of those temporary closures might eventually become permanent? Meanwhile, 14% of responding breweries stated they “didn’t know how long they’ll be able to stay open.” Everything is balanced on a knife’s edge, at the moment.
As in the U.S. brewing market, one of the factors most affecting these breweries is the loss of revenue from direct taproom sales, which is one of the most efficient revenue sources available to most small breweries. The breweries most dependent on that kind of revenue stream, unable to operate with skeleton crews via taproom pickup and distribution of cans and bottles, are the businesses in the most potential jeopardy.
Our hearts go out to all the brewery owners, brewers and employees around the world who are trying to keep their businesses afloat in these uniquely trying times.