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Local brewery sales tank amid coronavirus concerns

Local brewery sales tank amid coronavirus concerns
Posted at 10:48 PM, Mar 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-17 01:48:40-04

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Extensive precautions are being taken around the nation amid coronavirus concerns.

Precautions that are already hurting business.

Es Teran, the CEO of Borderlands Brewing Company says the brewery has already seen a drastic change in production and a tank in sales.

“We saw a drop in sales overnight,” he told KGUN9.

In fact, he says the brewery is losing money daily.

“Our events, we’ll lose a potential revenue of $16,000. Just regular taproom sales without including events it’s over 18,000. Now if we consider the food revenue we’re also losing there it’s $10,000,” he said.

That amounts to a monthly loss of about $45,000.

While he says employees use good hygiene practices, like washing hands and cleaning surfaces regularly, they're amping up their precautions.

“Right when you walk in, there’s hand sanitizers. We had to remove some stools from our bar just to make sure they aren’t sitting close together,” he added,

Certainly precautions the Pima County Health Department agrees with.

“What we’re more concerned with is social distancing and practicing those behaviors at this time,” said Teran.

Ayla Kapahi, the head brewer at Borderlands says the same procedures are followed in production.

“It’s normal for everyone working in this facility to always wear gloves, closed toed shoes, eye protection. But in between glove usage we’re frequently washing our hands and set up hand sanitizing stations for employees to do that as well,” Kapahi told KGUN9.

While she says they are losing money, production is still going strong, amid coronavirus concerns

“It’s still been kinda full steam ahead. What’s doing really well right now is all of our canned packaged products. So people can pick up our 4-packs at the grocery store. They can come into our tap room and purchase those as well,” she added.

So even though Borderlands is taking a big economic hit right now, with cancellations of events and consumption, they’re confident they will bounce back.

“The Tucson community is great. They really really show up and help small businesses,” said Teran.

Kapahi seconds that.

“I think that when things are a bit smoother, they’re gonna want to come out and celebrate, and hopefully drink some delicious beers that they haven;t been able to have in a while,” she added.

Teran says Borderlands has always paid their employees who are sick, from out of pocket. That is to encourage them to stay home if they are ill.

Meantime, the Pima County Health Department officials say they are working on a safety plan that will go out to restaurants, bars, and breweries by the end of the week.