Two out of Every Three Texas Craft Breweries Stand to Permanently Close by 2021 if Relief Doesn’t Come Soon
The economic and public health crisis brought on by COVID-19 and back-to-back shutdowns of on-premise business at “51% establishments” threaten to decimate the Texas craft brewing industry, according to a new survey of members conducted by the Texas Craft Brewers Guild.
Key Survey Takeaways:
- One in three Texas craft breweries say they’ll be forced to close in the next three months without some change to the current shutdown order or new economic relief options.
- Two in three believe they will not make it to the end of the year under current conditions.
- Only 14% of responding breweries believe they could make it longer than one year under current conditions.
- Responding breweries are currently experiencing an approximately 55% YoY revenue decline with one in five breweries experiencing an 80% or more revenue decline.
- Since the onset of the pandemic breweries have been forced to lay off or furlough an average 36% of their workforces
Statistics are based on survey results from 87 Texas craft breweries, representing approx. 40% of the TCBG’s operating brewery members.
“Texas has already seen craft breweries permanently close because of the pandemic and ensuing economic crisis,” Texas Craft Brewers Guild Executive Director Charles Vallhonrat said. “The outlook from here is even worse. We continue to implore Governor Abbott to finally do something to help them. His 51% Executive Order is crushing Texas breweries, and for no good reason. Before he inexplicably closed taprooms down for a second time, they were operating under the same health, safety, and social distancing guidelines as restaurants and other businesses that the Governor has allowed to remain open. We’re just asking for consistency and fairness.” first shutdown, as this time customers looking to enjoy a beer can simply go down the street for a drink at a restaurant who is permitted to stay open instead.
In 2019 the Texas craft brewing industry had a five billion dollar impact on the Texas economy, the third highest of any state in the country, and was responsible for the creation of more than 31,000 jobs. Since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, small breweries have faced unprecedented hardship. Now, a second shutdown targeted at bars and other drinking establishments is hitting the Texas craft brewing industry, comprised of around 350 small businesses, even harder than the first. While craft breweries impacted by the shutdown of 51% establishments generally remain open for beer-to-go sales, many have reported a substantial decrease in traffic compared to the first shutdown, as this time customers looking to enjoy a beer can simply go down the street for a drink at a restaurant who is permitted to stay open instead.
“The arbitrary guidelines laid out in Governor Abbott’s June 26th executive order affecting 51% establishments forced the vast majority of breweries to close their taprooms and rely on beer-to-go and package sales,” Said Josh Hare, Texas Craft Brewers Guild Board Chair and Founder of Hops & Grain Brewing in Austin. “Unfortunately, that business model is not sustainable for most breweries, large and small, with the smallest breweries impacted the most due to their dependence on their community-centric taproom model. It’s had a decimating effect on the industry. While restaurants and virtually every other type of business across the state remain open, small craft breweries find themselves struggling to survive and make their communities aware that they need their support now more than ever.”
In an effort to rally that community support, the Texas Craft Brewers Guild is calling on beer enthusiasts across the state to help #SaveTexasBreweries.
“Texans, if you want your local breweries to still be in business on the other side of this second shutdown, please continue to vote with your dollar and buy local, small, and independent beer,” Vallhonrat said. “Buying Beer-To-Go directly from the brewery is the best way to support many small breweries. If you’re picking up a six-pack of beer while doing your grocery shopping, or along with a takeout order from a local restaurant, consider opting for a product from a local brewery over an internationally owned mega brand as those dollars will help save a local business in your community. Finally, picking up a gift card or a T-shirt directly from a brewery’s online store is another great way to show support, as is helping to spread the word about the fight to #SaveTexasBreweries with your family and friends and on social media.”
Texas beer enthusiasts can learn more at craftpac.org/savetexasbreweries.