Some local brewers explain pandemic struggle

Coronavirus New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Breweries say they’ve taken a huge hit since the coronavirus pandemic began. They’re among the last businesses still waiting to fully reopen under the governor’s health order.

“It’s really hard because we’re all extremely passionate,” said Skye Devore, the President of the New Mexico Brewers Guild. Local brewers and distillers say they’re becoming impatient while waiting for their turn to let their customers back inside. “It’s very aggravating,” said Matt Simonds, the Owner of Broken Trail Distillery.

On Thursday, the governor announced restaurants can allow dine-in customers back into their establishments. Gyms and shopping malls will also be reopening, at limited capacity.

Businesses like breweries and bars, that earn at least half of their revenue from alcohol sales, are limited to offering packaged liquor, to go. “It’s difficult to think we need to wait even a few more days, or a few more weeks,” said Simonds.

Devore and Simonds say their businesses have taken a huge hit already, both of them losing hundreds of thousands of dollars since the start of the pandemic. “We’ve had one of our locations that we closed permanently in Green Jeans Farmery,” said Simonds.

On top of that, Devore says some breweries have been forced to dump a lot of their beer because it spoiled. “I did speak to one of the owners of one of the largest breweries in the state, and he said that this last week they dumped 60 barrels, which a barrel is 31 gallons of their IPA,” said Devore. That is almost 2,00 gallons of beer, and Devore explains those losses aren’t often covered by insurance.

“It’s just huge, and unfortunately because this is pandemic related and not related to our other property losses, our insurance just doesn’t cover that,” said Devore. There is no timeline for when these establishments will be allowed to let their customers back inside.

New Mexico Coronavirus Resources

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