The 2020 pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, also referred to as the COVID-19 [named for the disease caused by the virus] pandemic, shook the world to its core. Not only were populations hurt by the virus physically, the pandemic had deep repercussions economically as well. One of the industries severely impacted by the implications of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic was the brewing industry, particularly that of the United States. The economic turmoil and uncertainty were felt by both macro and micro brewers alike. Draft beer sales virtually dried up overnight as state-imposed shutdowns closed bars, restaurants, and taprooms as a means to curb the spread of the virus. There were supply chain and logistical issues that arose during the pandemic due to not only closures within the brewing industry but supporting industries such as printers and shippers. In some cases, entire business models had to be turned completely on their head in an instant and business pivots had to be made. The year 2020 was wrought with challenges faced by the brewing industry. There was one saving grace however that kept many breweries afloat during the pandemic, and that was packaged beverage sales, especially those packages intended for off-site consumption. Set forth by trends of the pre-pandemic years aluminum cans and canning reigned supreme for the craft brewing market and allowed breweries to get product into the hands of consumers and ultimately allowed some breweries to stay open. Other options breweries had included the use of glass growlers or aluminum crowlers as a means to sell draft products to-go. The resourcefulness of many brewery owners was tested in 2020 and many rose to the challenge. This report aims to examine several of the challenges, pivots, and solutions packaging provided to the beer industry during the pandemic.
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