PHOENIX — With nearly all of its events canceled because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Arizona Craft Brewers Guild said it is at risk of running out of money and, if that happens, could have to close next year.
"We’re not projecting any events through the end of this year, obviously, and a good chunk of next year, and if we were to rely on event revenue, we would deplete all of our reserves, and we wouldn’t have an opportunity to make it through the next year," said Rob Fullmer, executive director of the Guild, in a recent interview with ABC15 News.
Fullmer said the Guild represents more than 100 craft breweries in Arizona and helps to advocate for them at the state legislature when it comes to policies that could impact the industry. It also produces Arizona Beer Week and the Arizona Strong Beer Festival, two of its signature yearly events.
To help raise funds, the Guild and some Arizona breweries are selling "ReCoupon Arizona Beer" coupon books. The books are $35 each and reportedly have more than $750 in savings at Arizona breweries.
Participating breweries include Huss Brewing Co., Peoria Artisan Brewery, Old Ellsworth Brewing., Walter Station Brewery, 12 West Brewing Co., O.H.S.O, and Desert Monks Brewery, among many others. You can view a full list at https://chooseazbrews.com/re-coup-on-az-beer.
Chip Mulala, the director of marketing and sales at Huss Brewing Company, said the Guild is an integral part of the Arizona brewing scene and closing would have a big impact on the industry.
"The most important thing that really what got us through this year was during this year of COVID, so many of the regulations that were being handed down -- executive orders from the governor and so forth -- were happening at such a rapid pace, if the guild wasn’t there as a voice for us, we could have been left behind," said Mulala.
He said festivals, such as the Arizona Strong Beer Festival, help breweries not only advertise and market themselves to the public but also help them stay in business throughout the year.
"Without the guild, a lot more of us would have gone out of business," he said. Huss has taprooms in Phoenix and Tempe.