When some of Eric Weyer’s regular customers decided to self-quarantine after returning from a trip to Italy, it was an easy decision to deliver their regular beers — some IPAs, a porter and an ESB — straight to their door.
Now, he’s offering the same service to other beer lovers in the downtown Winston-Salem area.
“We started about two weeks ago,” says Weyer, the co-owner of Hoots Beer Co. “I think it’s been a helpful service so far.”
Customers who live within a five-mile radius from the original Hoots location on Mill Works Street can order by texting Weyer or through Facebook or Instagram and they’ll get their beers the same day, Weyer says. So far, he’s only done about 10 deliveries, and is the only one doing the driving. He says that adding the option is a way to keep paying his bartenders.
“We’re donating all of our sales to the bar staff to help them get through this time,” Weyer says.
Many breweries, including Hoots, have been offering curbside pick-ups for weeks, since the closure of businesses in mid-March.
In Greensboro, a few beermakers have added delivery to their business model.
“[On Tuesday] we had 29 deliveries,” says Stephen Monahan, head brewer at Little Brother Brewing in downtown Greensboro. “It took me four and a half hours.”
Monahan says doing delivery has helped the business, which celebrated its second anniversary in November.
“It’s been really tough,” Monahan says.
Little Brother is offering free delivery for orders that hit at least $30 and are within an eight-mile-radius of the shop. He also says that he has been spraying the cans down with isopropyl at the door to make sure they are sanitary.
They offer delivery every Tuesday and Friday, with the cutoff for orders at midnight the night before. As a way to stay connected, the brewery is also offering what they call “beergrams” in which customers can buy four-packs of beer and have them delivered to a friend or family member’s house.
“It’s nice because when you pull up, they’re not expecting it,” Monahan says. “Just to see the smile on their faces is awesome.”
Customers can also sign up for a beer subscription through the brewery’s website.
Monahan, who is doing all of the deliveries himself, says that he’s excited about the new molé stout that was made with ancho chiles and local Joyland chocolate. He’s also pleased with how the cranberry and blood-orange gose turned out.
“It’s really nice,” he says. “It’s light and tart. It’s very approachable and keeps really well.”
Around the corner, Josh Coe, the owner of Beer Co., a local bottle shop, says that his employees have also started delivering to customers.
“We just saw that it was going to be a need with everyone staying home,” Coe says. “And I was bored since there’s nothing to do.”
Coe says he’s been posting the inventory on Facebook and through an email list from which his customers can choose. His employees have done deliveries of everything from IPAs to White Claws.
“Everybody has been super cooperative,” Coe says. “They pay over the phone and when I get to their door, I check their ID and then I drop the beer at the door. I’m trying not to be around too long.”
He says as long as customers are within city limits, he’ll deliver product to them.
“If people need it, we’ll do it,” Coe says. “We’ve done really well, but we have to sell more to keep the minimum going.”
Mary Garner-Oden, whose parents own Oden Brewing, says they made the decision to keep customers safe.
“The main reason we added it was not only to give our customers a safer way to get our beer if they don’t want to leave the house, but also to give our bartenders more hours,” Garner-Oden says.
Prior to offering delivery, Oden, like other breweries in the area, was doing curbside pick-ups. Now, they are doing both, with staff members going out almost daily for deliveries.
“It’s been going well so far,” she says. “I think definitely the demand will go up a little bit with the stay-at-home order.”
Garner-Oden says that adding delivery has helped keep the newer business in operation.
“As a new business, we don’t have a lot of savings,” Garner-Oden says. “And as a brewery, unless we sell the beer, it will go bad.”
Her favorite beers currently being offered include the ginger pale ale and the new Cool Eye Otis amber which is named after her dog. Next week, two new beers — Things Left Unsaid, a West Coast IPA, and Waltzing Matilda, a honey-wheat ale — will be available for customers to order.
And while it’s been difficult, Garner-Oden says she hopes this experience strengthens their business.
“I think we will come out of this a lot stronger,” she says. “We’ve been feeling really grateful that people are still taking time to order from us when we know it’s easier to just buy beer at the grocery story. We’ve been floored with the response.”
How to order beer for delivery:
- Hoots Beer Co. (W-S): Text 336.575.7128 or send a message through Facebook or Instagram. Menu is on their Facebook. $30 minimum. Delivery range is within five miles from original Hoots location. Also offering crowlers and kegs. Pay with credit card over the phone or in person. Also accepting cash. Same-day delivery.
- Beer Growler (W-S): You can order online or call 336.893.8251. They are currently delivering Friday-Sundays.
- Little Brother Brewing (GSO): Order online through their website. Menu is on their website. $30 minimum. Delivery range is within seven miles from store. Also offering kegs, merchandise and a subscription service. Can send beergrams to your friends. Deliveries on Tuesdays and Fridays.
- Beer Co. (GSO): Call 336.417.3486 or send an email to [email protected]. Pay over the phone. Inventory posted on Facebook and on their website. Delivery range is within city limits. Free delivery on orders over $25, $5 fee on orders under $25. Delivering on Saturdays.
- Oden Brewing (GSO): Order online through their website or by calling 336.285.8439 during business hours. $25 minimum. Delivering every day. Delivery range is within 10 miles of brewery.
Breweries offering curbside pick-up:
- Hoots Beer Co.: 840 Mill Works St., 4-7 p.m. daily
- Foothills Brewing: Both locations, Pub open 11:30 a.m.-8 p.m., tasting room 11:30 a.m-6 p.m.
- Wise Man Brewing: 826 Angelo Brothers Ave., 2-8 p.m. Monday-Friday, 12-8 p.m. on Saturdays, 12-6 p.m. on Sundays
- Incendiary Brewing: 486 N Patterson Ave.,
- Fiddlin’ Fish: 772 Trade Street NW., 11 a.m.-7 p.m. daily
- Oden Brewing: 804 W Gate City Blvd., 4-8 p.m. Monday-Friday, 2-8 p.m. Saturday and Sundays
- Little Brother Brewing: 348 S Elm St., 5-7 p.m. daily
- Beer Co.: 121 W McGee St., 2-8 p.m. daily
- Southend Brewing Co.: 117 W Lewis St., 3-7 p.m. daily
- Natty Greene’s Brewhouse: 1918 W Gate City Blvd., 3-6 p.m. Thursday-Saturday
- Goofy Foot: 2762 NC-68 Unit 109, 4-7 p.m. Monday-Friday
- Stella Brew: 1305 S. Hawthorne Rd., 11-7 p.m. daily