Breweries within the Erie space are a part of the rising development in mail order merchandise

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, words like “resilient” and “agile” have been used to describe companies that have adapted to changing circumstances.

The terms also apply to the craft beer industry in Pennsylvania. Before the pandemic, only four breweries were shipped in Pennsylvania. That number has risen to 40.

“COVID-19 hit and there was so much uncertainty. People were reluctant to go out and even to go to stores. So what’s the next best option? Let’s get the beer right to my door. You’ve seen this explosion since as more and more breweries added the service, ”said Chadd Balbi, co-owner of Breweries in PA, an online media company covering the craft beer scene in Pennsylvania.

Together with co-owner Matt Kozar, Balbi has been reporting on Pennsylvania Craft Beer through his website since 2016, which had more than 1 million page views in 2020 and has social media on both his Facebook page and in his group.

Dropship for breweries to consumers began after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Rivalry Brews, a third party company, also started shipping on behalf of breweries in May 2020.

According to Balbi, Pennsylvania breweries have been able to ship beer since October 2017 when the Liquor Control Board changed the state code. The challenge was that breweries initially relied on courier services for transport.

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However, following the COVID-19 success, UPS took steps to enable Pennsylvania licensed breweries to deliver directly to consumers through their services. The company even created a special beer additive for their website.

“Essentially, UPS got into the beer shipping game, and that has resulted in the elimination of third-party couriers. It really opened everything, ”says Balbi.

In March, Erie Ale Works became the third brewery in northwest Pennsylvania and the 39th in the state to add dropship to the consumer.  Both Lavery Brewing Co. and Voodoo Brewery also offer nationwide shipping.

In northwest Pennsylvania, both Voodoo Brewery and Lavery Brewing Co. have been shipping nationwide for several months. Erie Ale Works became the third regional brewery to add this service in March.

“It was an easy decision for us when we realized we could do it,” said Jeff McCullor, co-owner of Erie Ale Works. “It makes us more accessible to a customer base we normally can’t meet, and it’s a simple relief. The pandemic has forced us to really focus and optimize our ecommerce efforts and this is the most recent example of this. “

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Right now, nearly 10% of all Pennsylvania breweries offer nationwide shipping, and while that number may peak, McCullor doesn’t think the service will end anytime soon.

“It will rise to a point and then it will plateau. However, the work-from-home culture has changed things and I don’t think it’s going to go away, ”he says. “People are now used to services like DoorDash or Instacart that don’t have and don’t want to go anywhere. If you can continue to buy beer without leaving your home even if it costs more, people will keep doing it. “

In the warehouse at Dogfish Head Brewery, huge cases of beer are waiting to be shipped across the country.

Meet a need

Breweries outside of Pennsylvania have also started shipping to the state, including popular national brands like Other Half Brewing, The Veil Brewing Co., and Aslin Beer Co. While there are more volume restrictions, more direct beer options are being introduced for consumers.

Dropship to consumer hasn't picked up as fast in Ohio as it has in Pennsylvania.  One reason for this could be the rise of Rivalry Brews.  Since its launch in May 2020, the third-party company has entered into an agreement with nearly 30 different breweries and now ships its beer to 41 different states, including Pennsylvania.

For fans of popular Ohio breweries like Cleveland’s Masthead Brewing Co. or Cuyahoga Falls’ Missing Mountain Brewing Co., Rivalry Brews is available to deliver these brands to your doorstep. Instead of offering their own shipping services, many Ohio breweries have partnered with Rivalry Brews to ship on their behalf.

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Launched in May 2020, the third-party shipping service now ships to 41 states including Pennsylvania. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Eriesponsible, a non-profit organization that works to clean up Lake Erie and other freshwater lakes.

“We do a lot of packing and shipping, so it’s beneficial for breweries to work with us,” says Adam Esker, co-owner of Rivalry Brews. “We are working on growing, expanding and adding more breweries. We’ll also add subscription boxes and beer tastings virtually. “

Shipping is not right for everyone

One possible argument against the rise of shipping could be that consumers now have too many options to make beer, but neither Balbi nor McCullor see it that way. In the past, craft beer was an industry where the rising tide lifts all ships. They believe that this will also be the case here.

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For smaller breweries, the thought of adding a shipping service may seem daunting. Because of their production, this might also be impossible.

Take Second Sin Brewing Co., a small but highly rated brewery in the Bristol suburb of Philadelphia. The brewery cannot deliver to Erie because the production facility is not big enough.

However, this does not mean that the brewery cannot strive for it.

“It’s definitely something we’d love to explore and we return to it every few months. Especially for our size, it just doesn’t make sense at the moment, “says Mike Beresky, co-owner of Second Sin Brewing Co.” But our goal is to add a few more tanks at some point and as soon as we get more fermentation space, that’s definitely something that we’re going to explore. I think this direct selling to the consumer is a trend that will continue. I also think this is an industry where competition is successful and I think that in the end it is all very good for us. “

Pennsylvania Breweries that ship nationwide

Aurochs Brewing Co., Emsworth

Beaver Brewing Co., Beaver Falls

Brew gentleman, Braddock

Broken cup brewing, Andalusia

Kershner Brothers Brewing Co., Skippack

Br Daddys Brewing Co., Allentown

Cinderlands Beer Co., Pittsburgh

Conshohocken Brewing Company, Conshohocken

Erie Ale Works, Erie

Fegley’s Brewery, Allentown

Free Will Brewing Co., Perkasie

Grist House Craft Brewery, Pittsburgh

Here & Now Brewing Co., Honesdale

Hidden River Brewing Co., Douglassville

Highway Manor Brewing Co., Camp Hill

Overprinted Beer Co., Hatfield

La Cabra Brewing, Berwyn

Lavery Brewing Co., Erie

Levante Brewing Co., West Chester

Locust Lane Craft Brewery, Malvern

Dear City Brewing Co., Philadelphia

Retriever Brewing Co. Lehigh Valley

Rotunda Brewing Co., Annville

Round Guys Brewing Co., Lansdale

Roy Pitz Brewing Co., Chambersburg

Shy Bear Brew, Lewistown

Stall 12 Brewing Co., Phoenixville

Sterling Pig Brewery, media

Stickman Brews, Royersford

Experimental ales with strange roots, Pittsburgh

Tattered Flag Brewery, Middletown

Ten7 Brewing Co., North Wales

The Larimer Beer Company, Chester

Tired Hands Brewing Co., Ardmore

Urban Village Brewing Co., Philadelphia

Vault Brewing Co., Yardley

Voodoo Brewery, Meadville

Wallenpaupack Brewing Co., Hawley

Workhorse Brewing Co., King of Prussia

Yellow Bridge Brew, Delmont

SOURCES: 43 / 1772.html

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