Name: Paige McWey Acers
Company Name: San Diego Brewers Guild
How have you changed your business in response to COVID-19?
Our goal as an association is to bring our industry and community together, so we’ve had to completely pivot and get creative in finding new ways to do this, safely. For our members, we have increased electronic communication through emails and newsletters and have used virtual meeting platforms to conduct membership meetings and to provide education and training opportunities. Unfortunately, we had to cancel our major fundraising festivals this year, causing a great concern for how we’d get funding in 2020. We got creative and launched Hops + Harvest, a virtual beer dinner series with our good friends over at MIHO Catering Co. Since September, we’ve organized a beer dinner every two weeks, featuring a different San Diego craft brewery paired with a four-course dinner. It’s been a hit.
Despite the hurdles we’ve come up against, our largest event of the year, San Diego Beer Week, returns for our 12th annual celebration of America’s finest independent craft brewers, Nov. 6-15, 2020, with a live stream concert by The Casbah and virtual beer-paired dinner with MIHO Catering Co. and Burgeon Beer Co. In partnership with Sycuan Casino Resort, the official co-producing partner of San Diego Beer Week 2020, the 10-day event promotes more than 150 local craft breweries in San Diego County.
While San Diego Beer Week celebrations look slightly different this year due to COVID-19 precautions, our members are taking a refreshing approach, providing both virtual and in-person celebratory options that prioritize the health and safety of all participants, without compromising on the excellent brews for which the county is known.
We’re also excited for our annual Capital of Craft IPA collaboration brew to be released for San Diego Beer Week; participating breweries include both well-established and rising breweries: Burgeon Beer Co., South Park Brew Co., Modern Times Beer, Resident Brewing, Automatic Brewing Co., Northern Pine Brewing, Five Suits Brewing and Chula Vista Brewing.
What keeps you hopeful?
I’ve really enjoyed seeing our local craft beer community get creative and be as resilient as ever. Seeing our members continue to make great beer, win awards (12 San Diego breweries took home 14 awards from this year’s Great American Beer Festival just last week), and participate in collaborations and pivot their own businesses to survive this unprecedented time has been incredibly inspiring.
What is your advice to other companies?
Get creative, stay safe and support those around you.
What is the one thing you are looking forward to doing when things return to normal-ish?
I’m absolutely looking forward to sharing a pint (or two) with our amazing San Diego community!
Visit sdbeer.com for everything San Diego craft beer and sdbw.sdbeer.com/ for San Diego Beer Week specifics.