A letter from the Los Angeles County Brewers Guild:
The last month and a half has been a truly unprecedented time for society, and we hope that you are all staying safe and healthy. Our community had no idea what to expect during this crisis and we continue to go into every new day with one foot firmly planted and the other ready to pivot at a moment’s notice. Our small and independently owned businesses face new challenges every day and the mandated closures of our tap rooms and restaurants, paired with a series of event cancellations have led to many lost jobs and looming uncertainty. Never one to falter, our craft breweries have tried to adapt to the best of their abilities – implementing shipping, delivery, and socially distant to-go options so that we can continue to service our communities. This has not been easy and while we may seem like we have figured it all out, every day in business is a struggle and every business – whether a local restaurant, bar, brewery tap room – is doing their best to tap into that L.A. resilience we all have burning inside us.
We wanted to keep you in the loop on what is going on here at the Los Angeles County Brewers Guild. As the nonprofit advocacy group for our 90+ independent breweries in the county, we have also had to shift our association’s priorities. We have waded through hundreds of small business resources, engaged with authorities from every agency you can think of, and have trickled down as much information and support to our brewery members as we can. Our work has two sides: protecting our industry through efforts to support our members and promoting our craft beer community through education and events.
It is with great disappointment that we must postpone our 12th Annual L.A. Beer Week which was to kick off on June 20, 2020. With so many unknowns as to the timeline in which we will be allowed to re-open and what guidelines we will need to follow in the future pertaining to social distancing and large crowds, it would have been a foolish gamble for our already lean resources to pour our efforts into a summer event that we wouldn’t be able to host. L.A. Beer Week is the cornerstone of our craft brewing community; a grand celebration that pre-dates all but a handful of breweries in Los Angeles County that existed before it. We are hopeful to host L.A. Beer Week later this year so that we can raise a toast to having overcome these obstacles together.
The official 2020 dates for L.A. Beer Week have yet to be determined, but we are working with our many event partners and venue to try and aim for Fall 2020. Please be patient with us as we work all of this out. L.A. Beer Week is a gigantic undertaking and our organization runs on a tiny team and the help of volunteers. Please also stay tuned for announcements regarding the other L.A. Beer Week partner events that typically occur after our big Kickoff Festival. Many of the events will be moving to the Fall Beer Week dates, but we also felt it was important to keep some summer activities in place — because we miss you all and we could all use a beer together after this crisis.
Our Guild relies heavily on revenue from our major events to survive. The postponement of LA Beer Week and the cancellation of several of our partner events this spring and summer seasons is delivering a major hit to our nonprofit. Unlike other businesses, our Guild only has one full-time employee which means that we do not qualify for any of the small business and nonprofit grants or relief that are out there. During this most trying time, L.A. Brewers needs you.
To keep the proverbial lights on during this crisis, we are launching pre-sales for I Heart L.A. Beer shirts and hoodies. We are also re-launching a simplified version of our Enthusiast memberships which will also include a digital card. This membership card will open up over 50 brewery tap room perks to members for one full year (June to June) as well as open up early access for a series of small and virtual events we will be announcing in the future. We have even added a Beer It Forward campaign to our site; a virtual tip jar, for you to support our efforts for as little as $1. All sales made to our site help us survive. We know times are tough right now, but we will persevere. Thank you all for your kindness and support.
Frances Michelle Lopez & the Los Angeles County Brewers Guild