Covid-19 has presented real challenges for all segments of the alcohol industry, but perhaps the area most dramatically affected has been craft beer. Breweries that largely sold their beer through their own taprooms and other on-premise locations have had to pivot quickly — bottling and canning their beers and attempting to find space on crowded store shelves — while certain styles of beer that rely on extreme freshness have required a bit of rethinking.

That’s the topic for this week’s VinePair Podcast, as Adam Teeter, Erica Duecy, and Zach Geballe take a look at the state of the craft beer industry, discussing how breweries can continue to create communities even with limitations on in-person consumption, as well as other strategies for long-term survival.

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Adam: From VinePair’s New York City headquarters, I mean my apartment in Brooklyn, New York. I’m Adam Teeter.

Erica: From Jersey City, I’m Erica Duecy.

Zach: And from the satellite campus in Seattle, Washington, I’m Zach Geballe.

A: And this is the VinePair podcast. I really did want to say VinePair’s New York City Headquarters, even though they’re still closed.

Z: I mean, it might as well be the headquarters at this point.

A: No, because that would also be Keith’s apartment, and Josh’s, and Danielle’s, and Erica’s. It would be everybody’s, it’s crazy. There’s one room I’m sitting in in my house that really does feel like it just has been taken over by VinePair, and I think Naomi’s getting really sick of that. I’m really excited about today’s topic but first, as always, we have to shout out to the sponsors. This week’s podcast is brought to you by Wild Turkey 101. Wild Turkey 101 is the high-proof bourbon ideal for enjoying classic cocktails how they were intended to be when they were invented. Aged longer for more character and using the same recipe since 1942, Wild Turkey 101 adds flavor and body to the Old Fashioned, the number one consumer cocktail. Never compromise, drink responsibly. Wild Turkey Kentucky Straight Bourbon whiskey, 50.5-percent ABV, 101 proof, copyright 2020 Campari America, New York, New York. Have to love that legal language at the end. I think Wild Turkey is a pretty delicious bourbon.

E: Yeah, it is good. I agree.

Z: Yeah. We’ve been running some cool “top lists” of whiskeys and Wild Turkey’s one of those, it’s not that expensive, it makes a great cocktail. It’s not, maybe, the thing that I would turn to absolutely first to just sip on its own, but in a cocktail and Old Fashioned — definitely delicious.

A: Wild Turkey 101 makes awesome cocktails. Speaking of drinks, let’s talk about what you guys are drinking this week.

Z: Tied into today’s theme, to some extent, I’ve been drinking a lot of craft beer, but a specific brewery because it fits my inactive lifestyle very well. I interviewed Bill Shufelt, who’s the founder of Athletic Brewing, which has focused on non-alcoholic beers and I’ve been drinking a lot of Free Wave, it’s a double hop IPA. I have tried a lot of non-alc beers running beverage programs, you end up buying and tasting them because at least I took that part of my job seriously, but it’s actually pretty convincingly beer. I find their hoppier styles are more beer, I guess it’s just that delivery of bitterness and aromatics that I appreciate. I’ve been drinking that, it fits that “I need something that’s more interesting to drink than water at 3:30, but I still have to deal with my son when he wakes up from his nap” part of my life.

A: I’m so interested. I have to say you’re now the second person who told me you actually think it’s good. Athletic Brewing, if you’re listening, you can send it to myself and Erica, because I’m super suspect. I’ve listened to their ads on tons of other podcasts, I think, and what I’ve always thought was really interesting is they’ve never really advertised alcohol. I hear them a lot on tech podcasts, “Do you want to get up in the morning and be able to do your presentation? If so, drink Athletic.” And I’ve always wondered if it’s any good. Cat also says it’s very good. I actually feel I need to try it now because you are now the second person who said, “Yeah, it’s not beer, but for a beer replacement it’s very good.”

Z: I would say it’s beer. What’s interesting, I think to me, is where I noticed that it doesn’t have the alcohol is halfway through the beer when I don’t feel any of the buzz. If I’m drinking a double IPA normally, it’s seven, eight, nine-percent alcohol, a lot of times. And by the time I’m halfway through a can or something, I can kind of feel it. It’s sort of weird, I don’t necessarily mind, it’s kind of nice too, to have the beer and not have the effect. But it is true that, as we talk about on this podcast, we do drink alcohol for the effect. And so I’m not saying I’ve given up alcohol, but it is nice. It gives me something more interesting to drink than water or something along those lines, if I’m not ready for it yet, more coffee. It’s a nice kind of alternative in the afternoon. I don’t drink it all day, every day but it’s a nice alternative.

E: Nice. I was really excited yesterday to be on the phone with Heather Green, who is the CEO and master blender of Milam & Greene Whiskey. She is based out of Texas, but they are now working, with a master distiller on their team at Marlene Holmes, who was at Jim Beam for her entire career. Man this whiskey, they just nationally released last night, it’s the Milam & Greene Triple Cask Strength bourbon whiskey, it’s fantastic. I was totally blown away and it’s so cool to see a woman owned and led whiskey company doing such great work. They’re a young company, so they are sourcing some of their juice but they’re also distilling in Texas and Kentucky, as well as finishing other whiskeys. I tried this, it was so smooth and a 94 proof spirit, it had such a kind of presence and depth to the character. I was totally floored.

A: There’s nothing specific that I’m super excited about this week like I was with the Negronis. I will say that over the past week, I’ve drunk a few things. One is, I did go back to Heaven Hill Bourbon, the Seven Year Old, which is a pretty delicious overproof. And I had that last night while watching the debate and cheering on the fly.

Z: Did you drink the whole bottle?

A: No. I think this debate was basically what they’re supposed to be, which is normal. Except that, one of the candidates lied a lot and evaded questions, but besides that, it was a pretty standard debate. There wasn’t as much of a desire for me to feel I needed to just down an entire bottle of bourbon. Also, I think I would not feel great afterwards. And then last weekend — gosh, it’s so weird that with corona it all blends together — I will say I actually had a terrible bottle of wine. I’m not going to name the producer, but I want to talk about what happened. And I want to get your opinion. We were at one of my favorite restaurants. I don’t want to talk about them because I think the food is amazing, I think this was the server’s fault. But it was Naomi’s birthday, and we haven’t been going out, but it was her birthday. We’re going to go out for dinner. We had outdoor seats, all this stuff. And I knew that this restaurant had lost their wine person a long time ago, and that basically it’s a hodgepodge of people buying the wines: The chef, manager, et cetera. And I know because of where we are in Brooklyn, it’s been leaning very dirty, natural — not just natural, but dirty natural. And so there were two wines we were looking at and Naomi said she really wanted a red. Not a bigger red, but something that had some nice acidity that would go really well with all the food, and it was Mediterranean. There was this Pinot Noir from Baden. And so I asked them about that bottle and they were like, “Oh, it’s really funky, totally grungy dirt.” And we say no and ask about this Nero d’Avola and she was like, “Oh, this is perfect. It’s classic Nero d’Avola and is one of our bestselling bottles. It pairs perfectly with all the food.” And I’m like cool. So she basically described the wine as being classic. So the bottle comes out and she pours me a taste. And I literally looked at Naomi and, if I didn’t know that this was natural, I would say that there was something wrong with it. Because it, of course, was natural and it was the dirtiest, just riddled with faults, and it was totally unpleasant to drink. But at this point we were just like whatever, screw it, I don’t know what else to do. And so we drank it. And it was not fun. The faults were so clear, and it was so off-putting that it kind of ruined that part of the meal. There were other parts that were great, we had a really nice glass prior that was delicious, as a way to toast her birthday. But whose misunderstanding was it here? And I didn’t want to get into it with her and say, “Hey, basically you made this sound like this was a totally conventional bottle of wine, but this is actually very dirty and natty and not a good wine, because there are natural wines that I do like but this is definitely not one of them.” And so that’s why we just drank it, because we didn’t know how to handle this situation. And we were just going to take one for the team and drink the wine. And of course when we looked at the import on the back, it was some importer we’d never heard of before based in Bushwick.

E: That’s a challenge. I mean, Zach, from the professional perspective of someone who’s worked on the floor a lot, what would you have recommended?

Z: Oh my God. This whole story made me almost break out in hives. I understand your general approach of “take one for the team,” but as a wine director, nothing can make me sadder than hearing customers talk that way. Especially when you’re out celebrating your wife’s birthday. Obviously these times, most people are not going out all the time. I would have loved for you to have said, “This is not what we’re looking for,” and again, restaurants are different and there are different approaches to this. From a restaurant side, I would just, graciously as I could, take that bottle back and say, “Hey, we get it. We’re saying sorry. Let’s try and find you something else. ”It’s hard for me, because I never ran a program where a lot of the wines we were selling were faulted. So I’m not really familiar with how you convince someone that a wine that’s flawed is good. I just tried to sell good wine. And that’s still a subjective thing, and different people have different tastes, but if a wine had an obvious fault and we opened it, it was of course going back. I was sending it back to the distributor and trying to walk a line there. What I would say is that, yeah maybe the server’s not super knowledgeable, but in the end, if they’re recommending food to you and it sucks — “Oh, we don’t have anything spicy,” and they bring out something that’s loaded with spice — that’s not your fault, you don’t take that one for the team. You don’t have an incrementally unpleasant dining experience because they did a s***** job. No, you tell them, “Look, this is super spicy. We don’t want it. We want something mild.” If you want something super spicy and they bring out something bland as hell that’s not your fault, that’s the server’s fault and the restaurant’s fault. They should be able to communicate to you the basics about the wine program. And if you say, “Hey, we don’t want funky, dirty wine,” either they can say, “Well, unfortunately, we don’t have anything that meets your needs.” You can decide what you want to do then. Or they can bring you a wine that isn’t funky and dirty. I would just say they failed. And I totally understand not wanting to be the person who says “excuse me,” but, all of you listening out there, be the person who says “excuse me.” Restaurants want you to leave happy, not to go on your podcast the next week.

A: True. I mean, there was so much there. We’ve talked about this before, about us realizing what a privilege it is to be dining out, and I was also thinking about the server and how she may not want to be there, but she is. And I’m not going to be the person that does this right now, but it sucked. I get that there is that movement. And now there also is this weird thing where it’s “what can you trust?” Because if it says Nero d’Avola, and it’s from the area where I know it’s going to usually be very good in Sicily, I was going to assume it was what I thought we would want. And when she said it was typical. Do you know what typical narrow Nero d’Avola tastes like? Or have you only tasted very natty ones at this restaurant? Which also then becomes hard, because then you have the issue of what is the word typical? I would say the word typical is what the majority of people would agree is what the grape tastes like. Not what a few people at some super hipster places think the grape tastes like. It was a bummer because even Naomi — she’s the one in the relationship that loves the natural wines more than I do — even she tasted something bad.

Z: And in the end, that’s the problem. That should not be your experience walking away from a drink or a meal, being like, “This was bad.” That’s hopefully not what anyone’s aiming for.

E: That sucks.

A: Let’s talk about the state of craft beer, because it’s craft beer month at VinePair and we’ve devoted a large amount of our content for the month of October to the world of American craft beer — which has been a very exciting world of beverage for quite a long time. Within the last decade, prior to 2020, it was really a massive boom time. Every year, hundreds if not thousands of new craft breweries were opening across the country. But now, it seems that of all three of the areas of alcohol, the one that’s being the most impacted by Covid is craft beer. It also seems, all of a sudden, maybe there’s a little bit less interest in craft beer than they’re used to. So we thought it’d be fun if we chatted about this area, and what we think is really happening in craft beer right now. What’s exciting, and what needs a little bit of a jolt to become more exciting.

E: From my perspective, I will be the first to say that craft beer, or any beer, is not my area of expertise, so where I can help is providing some statistics. According to the IWS, craft beer is down 12 to 15 percent overall for the first half of this year. That is largely because of the many on-premise closures and capacity restrictions. When you think about the different categories, craft beer, especially, is focused on-premise. Bart Watson, the chief economist for the Brewers Association, says on-premise sales account for about 45 percent of craft beer volume before Covid-19, about half. Without that channel, we are seeing the off-premise sales up between 11 and 16 percent, according to Nielsen data, during the Covid affected period. But that doesn’t cancel out the widespread losses from sales at bars and restaurants. That’s kind of the bigger picture that we’re looking at here.And there’s been a lot of challenges for craft brewers who are looking to pivot into canning from what they’ve previously been doing — kegs for example — which is tough, operationally. If you’re not set up for a high volume of canning, you may have to rely on mobile canning lines that may only be available in higher-density areas. Not as much in rural areas. There’s been this ongoing aluminum can shortage. And that existed before the pandemic. But Covid has exacerbated that because of the growing demand for aluminum cans, not just in beer, but also in wine cans, seltzer, et cetera. So those are some of the challenges that craft beer brewers are facing right now.

Z: I think the other thing that goes along with what you’re saying, Erica, is for a lot of craft breweries, especially ones on the very, very small nanoscale, all the way up to the medium-sized craft breweries, much of their profit — not necessarily gross revenue, but profit — comes from a taproom. And in most of the places in the country, the best you’re able to offer is limited capacity, or your taproom was closed for some amount of time, or it’s still closed. You can have some limited outdoor seating, but maybe not nearly as much as what you had before. And every brewer and brewery-owner that I’ve talked to in this period points to this very real fact that the smaller you are, the more dependent you are on that often one location where you’re generating a whole lot of your revenue. And if it’s closed or even limited (and again, maybe people have been okay through the warmer months and as most of the country heads into fall and winter and outdoor seating is a lot more complicated, if it’s even an option), a lot of them are looking at real challenges to the central piece of their model. Along with that, I think is this other real central conceit to craft brewing, which is that for so long, the selling point for craft beer, along with of course the quality of the product, was the convivial nature of beer. We think of beer as this hyper-social beverage, even maybe more so than wine or spirits. And whether it’s in a brewery, at a beer bar, at a tailgate, all these ways of getting together and enjoying beer are greatly curtailed for most of us, if not completely off-limits. And beer may just have a harder time fitting into the existing models for consumption that we have, especially if it’s smaller scale and not readily available at the grocery store or online. You guys can listen to some of the interviews we’ve had and have coming up on the Next Round part of this feed, but there’s lots of interesting things going on where brewers are experimenting with ways to continue to keep that connection with their customers alive. But it’s more challenging, I think, for beer than anyone else.

A: I think this is interesting. Some of the points you’re raising, Zach, reinforce this theory that I have that’s a hot take. I think the biggest trend in craft beer of the past four to five years is the reason craft beer is suffering now. And that trend is the hazy, because for those beers, which are so amazing, freshness is key and limited supply is key. And so when you build a brewery that initially is all built not on distribution to grocery stores — which is where all of us wound up in the pandemic — we reencountered Lagunitas, which some of us hadn’t drunk in decades. Or we reencountered bear Bear Republic, or some of these other OG craft breweries. And if you relied on line culture — people who would be willing on a Saturday or Sunday morning to come and line up at the brewery and wait for the beer and then have that community that we talked about, and you relied on really being very, very vigilant when it came to shelf control (and that’s why a lot of retailers never wanted to stock some of these beers, because a lot of the breweries were actually really hard on the distributor who was really hard on the retail) it means that when a pandemic happens, people aren’t willing to wait in line and you’re not set up to know how to do delivery, because you haven’t had to do that in the past. I think a lot of breweries fell behind because they became known for this style of beer that is absolutely delicious. Cat jokes and says that I’m a “haze bro.” I love hazy beers. I think they’re delicious. But they’re harder to find. At least in the first two to three months, the grocery store that I went to had none of them besides Threes, and Threes is one of the exceptions. Shout out to them, their infrastructure, and the way that they do their business in New York City. A lot of people could learn from them. I think the way that they handle getting the beer still into all the larger retailers is pretty unique. But I think, for the most part, all those other breweries had a very hard time, and now the opposite has happened. Now they all flooded retail. We talked about the beers that we’ve all enjoyed during the pandemic, and Josh was saying he’s gotten to drink beers that he never would have gotten to be able to just walk down to the corner bodega and buy, because he would have had to go to the brewery to get it. And now they’re so desperate to get it into retail, and a lot of them are also being a little bit less vigilant about those “buy on” dates. They’re not as worried anymore that the beer has to be consumed within a week of canning, which is what a lot of people used to think. That was the whole allure of the fresh, hazy IPA. If it wasn’t fresh, that haze diminished — it kind of fell out of the beer. It didn’t have the pillowy mouthfeel everyone was obsessed with. And the fruitiness. All that stuff that made that beer so mind-altering to so many people who had drunk crappier beer for so long. That’s my first hot take. My other hot take is: I think the other thing that happened at craft breweries is a lot of them got into seltzer, and White Claw and Truly kicked their a**. That, again, is a supply issue. And a lot of craft breweries started making seltzer when the breweries were packed to have something else on tap that they could serve to people who didn’t want a ton of these massively high-alcohol beers we talked about at the beginning. How many IPAs can you drink? But now that we’re in a pandemic, White Claw and Truly are everywhere. and this obscure hard seltzer that probably wasn’t that much of a focus for the brewery but helped pay the bills when they were open is not going to be the thing that people reach for. So I think that those things align with everything else you’re saying, it’s just harder for them than for almost anyone else. And no one has figured out how to create this beer that took the beer world by storm as a shelf-stable product yet. Hazy Little Thing really isn’t that. Sierra Nevada says it is, it’s not. The question is this new Dogfish beer that just got announced, which is going to have oat milk in it. It’s the oats that are actually going to make it hazy. Is that going to be it? Because that’s the only way you’re going to recreate these beers without relying on freshness. There’s going to have to be something else chemically that happens that makes them hazy and pillowy and what I refer to as what eggs look like when you add milk to them and you scramble them. I don’t know. It’s going to be interesting. I think it’s going to be tough because that style of beer is what made Other Half famous. It’s what made Grimm famous. I remember, Erica, when we had the staff picnic and I was talking to Jonno, your husband, and he mentioned one of the OGs of that movement, I can’t remember which one it was, but it was one of the beers everyone was excited about.

E: The thing I see more than anything is fruited sours and just fruit beer everywhere. I don’t know how fresh those have to be, though. I’m thinking of the Dogfish Head SeaQuench and all those sorts of beers that have really pronounced fruitiness to them. Do those beers have to be as fresh? What’s the situation there?

A: Not that I know of, but I’m curious what Zach thinks here. I think that sours are polarizing, and I think what was so interesting about the hazys was that they’re incredibly welcoming to almost anyone, it tastes like f***ing orange juice, and that’s why I’ve always been a big IPA fan. I used to think of Racer 5 as one of my top beers. I love that IPA. That beer is amazing. Also Bell’s Two Hearted is an amazing beer but that was a style of IPA that was for people who like bitterness. I could never get Naomi to drink IPAs, but she loves hazys. I think that sours are the same. Naomi loves sours. I’m going to give you guys a little TMI, but I have massive acid reflux. That’s also why I don’t like natural wine. I can’t do it. The Brett inside those beers, I can have one but I could never think that I’d go and invest in a six pack, but I don’t know exactly. What do you think?

Z: I think that it’s really interesting that we’re talking about the freshness of beers because I think, in general, that’s something that even outside of hazys and beers where, especially in the Pacific Northwest, we’re in the midst of fresh hop season and those beers are, again, another thing where you want that beer fresh from the tank, if possible. And if not that then in the can for as little time as possible. But all beer, with the exception of maybe some darker beers that are designed to age, almost all beer benefits from being consumed pretty fresh. One thing that we’re just seeing is that breweries of all scales, but especially on the craft side, are really trying to figure out how to get product in people’s hands. For the most part, you’re not going to go buy a 24 pack of your favorite craft beer. You probably don’t want to drink the same one of those every day or two of them a day for 12 days or whatever. But also the beer just isn’t as good, as enjoyable, at the end of that. One of the challenges that I think that craft brewing has had is the compulsion that people had, especially earlier in the pandemic, to get as much of everything as they can. “I got to pack my house, my apartment, whatever, with everything that I could possibly need.” And I think people have come out of that a little bit, but still there’s that challenge of — if you’re only going to the store once a week, or you’re going to go to a brewery to stock up but you’re not going to go every week, you’re going to go once a month or every two months — you kind of have to find this balance of what is going to be shelf-stable enough to last through that period. I also think with the sours, the other problem for beers is that we are seeing a shift (and again, this is where I come back to the closures or limitations on taprooms, where the current contexts for drinking these beverages is different)m and so one of the reasons why I think the hazy has become so popular. Not just because of what Adam said, or maybe in conjunction with what Adam said about how welcoming it is, it’s also a great beer to just drink by itself. That’s a complete thing unto itself. Whereas, to me, a sour, whether it’s fruited or otherwise, that’s a beer I need to eat something with. The same way that a high-acid wine — I don’t really want to drink those things. I don’t have the same issues with the reflux, but still I don’t want to drink a really high-acid anything without something to go along with it. And so those higher-acid beverages, I think, are more shelf-stable. I would bet just chemically that it has to be part of the problem for a hazy. You don’t have that acid balance to keep the thing fresh. Milk is going to go bad faster than lemonade, just the reality of it. But it’s something that people could revisit, if they haven’t done it in a while, because for those of us who are consuming at home, maybe thinking about having beer with food, that’s where those drinks shine. They’re their brightest in that context, where you can use a meal or snack or something to balance them out. Whereas, I think a hazy or something, you can just crush that, watch Netflix, it doesn’t need anything else to make it enjoyable. I don’t know that it’s something I would say that, necessarily, I’m going to go back to some of the beers that I used to drink as much. But that is where I think really bitter IPAs and sours, those more extreme ends could perhaps come back and do a little bit of prominence. Because I think they’re both more shelf-stable and they’re also more enjoyable in the setting that most of us are consuming things: At home, with a meal or snacks.

A: I think that there’s the same craft beers kind of really influx right now because I really feel even two or three years ago, maybe even a year ago, it was the area of alcohol that a lot people would have said was the most exciting. It was working on becoming more open — it still was predominantly beer bros, but it was working on becoming more open. There was an accessibility, at least when it came to people who were drinking, that it felt people would get into it more easily than other areas of the drinks world. The branding was always really interesting. A lot of people I’ve talked to think that now a lot of those natural wine labels were influenced by craft beer. And a lot of wine people want to have their cool craft beer area of the wine world. I think everything we’ve said here is true. The business model, that’s the gray, it’s just suffering more than any other area of alcohol I can’t think of. I love craft cocktail bars. But those aren’t, to me, a third space. I can’t sit at a craft cocktail bar and pay $15 a drink for very long. Whereas you can sit at a brewery all day and have $6 to $8 pints and have a great time. And usually there’s a food truck. And the same for wine bars. I know there’s a lot of them, but are they really a place that you’re going to just hang out with your buddies and catch up in the same way? Probably not. And wine, to me, has always been much more of a restaurant thing or an at-home thing, which is what I drink most often. I think that’s what it is. And it’s sad, because I think it’s going to take longer for it to come back than the others. It’s just not going to be as quick as everything else.

E: I agree. I’ll just put in one little fact here, which I found interesting, as of June 30th there were 8,217 active craft breweries in the U.S. That was up 100 percent from a year ago. It takes a lot of time to open a brewery, several years, People are still opening. But what I found interesting was that between Q2 and Q3 of this year, there were still 219 new brewery permit applications. It’s the slowest amount of growth in 11 quarters, but it’s still growing. So I think people still see craft beer as a possible area where they can make money, or maybe it’s all the people in finance who’ve said, “Screw it, I’m done here and I’m just going to go open a brewery.”

Z: I will say my one bit of silver lining for this whole conversation is that statistics say that homebrewing has taken off again in a big way during the pandemic. I do think that one cool possibility coming out of this is that you will have had a lot of people who either had more time to do homebrewing or took it up for the first time. And I mean, again, homebrewing is where the craft beer movement was born. It’s still how it mostly gets its start. Many people who start breweries start out by brewing at home. It’s relatively easy to do that. Adam, you have personal experience, and I think in general it’s certainly possible that when we’re talking to brewers five or 10 years from now and how they got started, a lot of them probably will say, “During Covid, I decided to take the plunge: I’m going to try homebrewing. I’m going to give it a shot.” And from this opportunity, maybe some of the great breweries of the 2020s will be born.

A: That’s actually really true. I’m not going to open a sourdough bakery, but I could. And seriously, Erica, I’ll let you plug it. We got a great homebrewing column, guys.

E: It’s a really wonderful column. If you haven’t checked it out it’s called BIY: Brew It Yourself, and Mandy Naglich, she is a pro home brewer. It’s a really highly read column so people seem to be engaged. It’s been growing during the pandemic. So I think there’s a lot of interest in people saying “I’ve graduated from sourdough. Let me try homebrewing.”

A: Yeah. And she even has a column where she writes about how to make a hazy, which I thought was really interesting because it’s actually going to teach you how to do that. I never, when I was brewing, thought I could have attempted that. But I think it shows people are willing to try these things. I think you’re very much going to be right there, Zach. I think we’re going to have a lot of breweries that open up, and when you ask why, they’re going to say, “We left whatever city we lived in, we moved to this place, we got more space, we started homebrewing, and we realized ‘Oh, this will be a nice life.’” And they opened. I can totally see that.

E: Yeah. Me, too.

A: Well, guys, this has been another amazing conversation, as always. I think every time we talk this stuff out, we go into it thinking, “Okay, is this going to be something that should be all doom and gloom?” And then I come out and I feel really positive about everything. Thank you guys very much.

Z: Just here to brighten your day.

A: Thanks, guys. Well for everyone listening, we’re here to brighten your day as well, which is why we’d love you to leave us a review, tell your friends, rate us on iTunes, Spotify, wherever you get your podcasts. It definitely helps other people discover the show. Erica, Zach, I’ll see you right back here next week.

E: Talk to you then.

Z: Sounds great.

A: Before we officially go, a word from the sponsor of this week’s podcast, Wild Turkey 101. Wild Turkey 101 is the high-proof bourbon ideal for enjoying classic cocktails how they were intended to be when they were invented. Aged longer for more character and using the same recipe since 1942, Wild Turkey 101 adds flavor and body to the Old Fashioned, the number one consumer cocktail. Never compromise, drink responsibly. Wild Turkey Kentucky Straight Bourbon whiskey, 50.5-percent ABV, 101 proof, copyright 2020 Campari America, New York, New York.

Thanks so much for listening to the VinePair Podcast. If you enjoy listening to us every week, please leave us a review or rating on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, or wherever it is that you get your podcasts. It really helps everyone else discover the show. Now, for the credits. VinePair is produced and hosted by Zach Geballe, Erica Duecy and me: Adam Teeter. Our engineer is Nick Patri and Keith Beavers. I’d also like to give a special shout out to my VinePair co-founder Josh Malin and the rest of the VinePair team for their support. Thanks so much for listening and we’ll see you again right here next week.

Ed. note: This episode has been edited for length and clarity.