Just a month ago we were brewing our latest beer, a Red IPA, and excited about the year ahead for our little brewery. Today we are working out how our business can survive. But let’s put this into perspective, we are a small contract brewery, we are healthy, and our overheads are less than many others. But we need to play our part to support each other, and our industry during this time.
There are countless local and independent breweries, bars, bottle shops and PEOPLE (with families to support, bills to pay, livelihoods to hold on to) in our industry that face far more uncertain times. All around us we are seeing concern, fear and confusion, and the impacts are real. Some of our closest friends and colleagues have already lost their jobs, and I’m sure there will be more. The greater implications of this crisis are immeasurable, and it is not just economic impacts, the very real impacts on
people’s lives and mental health are also front of our minds.
Make no mistake, we understand the gravity of what’s coming. Our generation has never had to face a challenge like this, and not one of us has the answers yet. But for what it’s worth, this is what we are going to do to respond to COVID-19, and we feel that many industries may follow a similar path. Together, we will overcome this, and come out the other side closer, more appreciative of the good times, and wiser.
In our opinion, the best way for industries to survive the coming months, is for everyone in the supply chain of an industry to do their part. The beer industry has a complex supply chain with lots of actors. This goes from the Government and the big banks, down to the small bars and bottle shops - everyone will have to do their part if we are to survive. It must be recognised that some actors have already started this process and a big shout out to them, this includes the state government for relieving payroll tax, the federal government for providing cash handouts and tax incentives for investment/to keep people employed, the banks for deferring loan repayments, and businesses for offering concessions to their customers (like Kegstar who are holding keg rental fees flat). But we think that this is just the beginning of what’s to come. Here are a couple if things that we hope may happen:
- Suppliers may reduce the price of raw ingredients
- Storage and logistics companies will reduce or freeze fees
- Governments will increase tax concessions and reduce or defer excise taxes
- Breweries (including gypsy brewers like us) will temporarily reduce wholesale prices (it will be better to keep product moving than to make a profit for the foreseeable future)
- Bars and bottle shops will see a sharp decline in sales, which will put enormous pressure on their ability to remain open and employing people
- More virtual events to keep likeminded people connected in our awesome industry
- Increase in home delivery services to get our product to you
- And those who can still support the industry, will keep buying local and independent
We think that most of us will make our own sacrifices for the continued health and growth of our industry when this passes. And Reckless Brewing is not immune or alone in this.
This will impact us financially, but this is unprecedented, and we are fortunate that we can do this for now, and hopefully we will pull through along with the rest of our industry. I doubt anyone is focussing on profits right now, rather survival. So, if you are in a position to still be able to enjoy a beer, and want to see our industry survive, please help support the local and independent breweries that employ over 6,000 people in Australia.
And if possible, please don’t forget about all the other small, independent, businesses that make our country one of the best places to live in the world - the neighbourhood cafes, the independent bars and pubs, the family-run restaurants. The hospitality industry as a whole is facing an unprecedented threat to survival, and we need your help. That’s 600,000 people, in 45,000 businesses across the country, that contribute $26 billion to our economy. The places most at risk of having to shut their doors forever are exactly the kind of places we are going to need when all this is over - places where we as a community come together, laugh, celebrate, commiserate, fall in love, discover new ideas.
Please look after each other during this time and take care of yourselves. We wish you all the very best and will keep you up to date with what else we can do to help support our industry, because as this crisis evolves, so too must our response.
Thank you & take care of yourselves
Reckless Brewing Co.