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Richard Greene, NCCBG Executive Director
NC Breweries Seek Clarification to Reopen in Phase II
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 21,2020
Raleigh, N.C. – The NC craft beer industry is an integral part of the state’s economy. We manufacture, distribute and sell some of the finest beer in the United States and have been an engine for economic growth in small towns and cities throughout North Carolina, contributing more than $2b to the economy and providing more than 12,000 jobs.
The COVID-19 crisis and subsequent shut down has devastated the industry. While we have been deemed an essential business as part of the beverage supply chain, revenues are down 75-90% industry-wide. Being able to reopen for modified on-premise activities as part of the Governor’s plan in Phase II is instrumental to the survival of the industry.
Our 328 breweries, taprooms and brewpubs have served as leaders in this crisis, working to provide safe and responsible ways for the consuming public to enjoy locally crafted beer. As an industry, our breweries have invested millions in manufacturing and safety equipment. We do not believe our breweries, taprooms or brewpubs meet Executive Order 141’s definition of “bars”, and we are continuing to work with the Governor’s office to clarify this matter.
Throughout the COVID-19 shut-down, the NC craft beer industry has acted in a responsible manner making the safety of our customers and employees our top priority. We have enacted protocols in accordance with CDC and NCDHHS guidelines, consistent with requirements and guidance for NC restaurants, that would allow our breweries to reopen on a modified basis for onsite consumption, without sacrificing public safety, and allowing for appropriate social distancing and sanitation protocols.
We look forward to getting questions regarding the industry’s status resolved quickly, for the benefit of our craft brewing industry, and the public interest.
ABOUT NCCBG: North Carolina is home to 325+ independent craft breweries - more than any other southern state. The North Carolina Craft Brewers Guild is a not-for-profit 501(c)6 tax-exempt organization, comprised of brewers, vendors, retailers and craft beer enthusiasts focused on promoting the State of Southern Beer™.