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The Breweries May Reopen, but the Void is Closed… Forever

Greetings, Voidlings. Welcome to CoronaVoid Vol. 3. This week comes the news that Virginia will begin to reopen some restaurants and bars, with restrictions, in some areas. Maryland has plans for that soon as well. Is this a good idea? Maybe not. Will people show up? Maybe not. I can tell you your Void correspondent will remain planted firmly in his house for the foreseeable future. The immediate DC area will not be reopening in any jurisdiction and local officials have the authority to do so. But I will not be making my way to any area reopening, anytime soon, as much for my safety as theirs. 

I have some sympathy to those who truly want to reopen out of sheer fear for their business. Craft beer has already taken a hit, and the result on the industry will be devastating, even if things go smoothly in the next couple weeks. And as we’ve seen from one of the global leaders among countries who have handled coronavirus outbreaks, it is very easy for things to not go smoothly. But, businesses have been able to adapt some, because even in the most ideal of circumstances, the limitations on phased reopening will not allow many craft beer establishments to open their doors for quite some time. And for some, it was never going to work.

I do not have sympathy, however, for people who make the lives of businesses struggling to survive even more difficult. This could be us, but you playin’.

Maybe we should just mosaic the beer. And no, not the hop. The verb. Or, maybe we should just let kids drink. It’s also important to remember that at least we have beer. Mexico currently doesn’t even have that.  

What will happen when we reopen? Barred in DC has recommendations

Phil Runco wrote about a classic local beer. It’s summer, so it’s Old Pro by the pool time… maybe… someday…

Speaking of classics

Good…?… news… everyone. When things reopen, Jon Taffer of Bar Rescue fame is opening up DC taverns after the shutdown is over. His first trip to the area went so well, so why not try again?

Hopefully those bars will have a devil’s toboggan slide

Anxo cider is expanding production to Richmond

I’ve got some long reads this week that will require a drink. I’ll give you some time to acquire some…

OK, super. You’ve seen the memes that make you want to flee the planet of the guys, and I have yet to see anyone that isn’t a guy, shooting White Claws to open them. Well, there’s a story behind that. Here it is. I’m sorry in advance.

Anybody want to know every single example of Bass Ale? Of course you do.

Finally, on a personal note, I found this shared blog post on one of my most beloved things, Franconian lager, and most importantly the Zoiglbrau tradition. One of the things I have thought about a lot during this pandemic is this traditional beers worldwide that were already operating on razor-thin margins and what this might do to them. I hope these great small farmhouses survive. You should go visit them if you do. 

In the meantime, lets get weird.

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1 comment

Franz Hofer May 15, 2020 at 12:16 pm

Nice to hear that you’re a fan of the Zoigl tradition, too! I can’t get enough of it. For what it’s worth, they may be better positioned than most to weather the storm. For starters, all Zoigl brewers have a main job (most are butchers or farmers) and only brew once per month, which means their Zoiglstuben is only open once per month. So far, that has only affected a few folks in the rotation (and I’m sure that the others are pulling together to help them out). And starting 18 May, breweries and inns will be able to open up their beer gardens and patios according to strict social distancing guidelines. (Fortunately, social distancing and the like hasn’t become such a political flash point in Germany, so the experiment may well work.) And then the Zoigl brewers have history on their side. I’m in constant contact with a local historian from Windischeschenbach, and he’s continually reminding me that the region (and the tradition of communal brewhouses/brewing) has survived plague (1632 was a big one that decimated the area), warfare, brewery consolidation in the wake of technological advances, and changing tastes in the postwar period. Even though the number of towns with communal breweries has dwindled from over 70 to 5, the tradition had been experiencing revival before the pandemic. Some Zoiglstuben might not survive, but folks there don’t think that the communal brewhouses that still operate in those 5 towns are in any danger.


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