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Columbia Business Monthly

SC Brewers Survey: 80 Percent Won't Remain Open More Than 3 Months

Apr 14, 2020 11:48AM ● By David Dykes

By David Dykes

The South Carolina Brewers Guild, the trade association for the state’s 92 breweries and brewpubs, said recent internal survey data gathered from its members showed "very concerning" trends.

They included:

  • On average, sales from breweries and brewpubs are down by 70 percent, with about 45 percent showing sales declines of more than 80 percent.

  • 35 percent of all breweries have ceased production entirely, with 60 percent reducing production.

  • About 70 percent of breweries have been forced to lay off or furlough employees.

  • Perhaps the most concerning finding in the survey, guild officials said, was that 80 percent of respondents won't remain open after three months - with 15 percent saying they won’t be able to stay open another one to four weeks and 65 percent saying they likely will only be able to stay open between one and three months.

    Guild officials renewed calls for the South Carolina Department of Revenue to ease restrictions to allow for home delivery and direct shipment of products to balance the needs of commerce with the promotion of public health and social distancing needs. 

    At least 26 other states have enacted such temporary emergency measures for their breweries and brewpubs, guild officials said.

    They have asked SCDOR to also extend relief to retailers such as bars and restaurants.

    Said Guild Executive Director Brook Bristow: “Allowing these practices would ease the strain on the economy while promoting proper social distancing, self-isolation, and quarantine protocols by providing one more way to keep people at home with their families while allowing the hospitality industry to better take care of theirs. “

    The state’s brewing industry supports roughly 5,000 jobs and last year, had an economic impact of $796 million.


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