It seems like a lifetime ago we were nominated for a James Beard Award and looking forward to an incredible 2020, our 6th year of operation. The sky was the limit!
Unexpectedly, the entire globe was hit with the COVID 19 pandemic, and we have been scrambling to assess the severity of the issue and make important decisions.
On March 16th, we decided to temporarily close both locations until further notice. At the time, we realized that this was more serious than we thought, and while the government had not yet issued full closure, we thought it was the responsible thing to do for our customers, employees and our own health and safety.
This last week we kept up to date as the craft beer community processed the government rules that gradually became more and more restrictive. We furloughed our employees right away, as getting their unemployment and other benefits going was the most important thing at the time. We periodically check in with them to assess each employees status and ability to weather this storm. We fully intend to bring them all back when this situation is under better control.
We are also negotiating with our landlords regarding our lease payments at end of month and have worked with all other creditors. Most have been very supportive and it appears that we may make some progress with avoiding payments during this shut down. Our goal is to mothball our brewery while only keeping the brewing team intact to manage and support our equipment and infrastructure.
Moving forward, we anticipate the closure to continue through March, April, with some potential for opening in May/June if we are able to get this pandemic under control. We know this may last for awhile, so we are looking at how to "pivot" our business model to include more "To go" beer pick ups, as well as "Ship to" ordering. We have used this time to create an ordering website for beer, merchandise and potentially other products. Since we were a "Tasting Room" centric brewery, making this pivot is not minor, but we believe doable. Stay tuned, we will update you by end of this week, as we hope to know more every day about what the "right thing" to do in this new reality.
Know that we are committed to Border X Brewing, we have accomplished an incredible amount in the last 5 years, and we were well positioned to scale rapidly in 2020. We have a great team, great products and a brand reputation that only got stronger with the James Beard nomination. Stand with us as we face the greatest challenge to the world and to the US, we will come out the other side, stronger and wiser for our suffering.
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