Despite having to cancel Cape Fear Craft Beer Week, which was to be held last week in the Port City, the Cape Fear Craft Beer Alliance has been working to help keep the industry afloat and support unemployed service workers who have been laid off in the wake of the new coronavirus, COVID-19.
While many Craft Beer Week festivities, such as Cape Fear Craft & Cuisine and the Ultimate Brewing Championship, had to be canceled, organizers shifted gears and held a Virtual Beer Fest on March 28.
Participants were asked to purchase a ticket (available at various levels, starting at $5), along with their favorite local beers to enjoy from home while sharing photos and videos with the hashtags #capefearcraft
“We raised over $2,000 from the virtual beer fest which we are going to put toward our grocery program,” said Jeremy Tomlinson, organizer and Cape Fear Craft Beer Alliance board member.
Tomlinson said that with the help of Steve McCrossan, director of Nourish NC, the Alliance is working to establish a grocery pick-up program for service industry workers who have been laid off.
“Groceries will be mostly staple items and some produce,” Tomlinson said. “If anyone would like to contribute to this program, we will have a donation page up for that very soon.”
The program is expected to be up and running in about two weeks, and service industry workers who would like to receive groceries can sign up online
Meanwhile, another of Tomlinson’s projects, The Wilmington Ale Trail, an online guide to Wilmington beer and breweries, has created a daily online update
with listings of current offerings from local bottle shops and breweries.
Like most businesses, the craft beer industry has had to pivot in the wake of the outbreak, and many local bottle shops and breweries are now offering curbside pick-up and delivery.
Tomlinson noted that things have been changing daily for all of these operations, and while he’s trying to keep the list as up-to-date as possible, it’s always best to contact bottle shops and breweries directly for the most up-to-date information.
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