Danny Meyer, founder of Shake Shack and Union Square Hospitality Group, is taking a hard line approach towards guests eating and drinking in their establishments. In-house guests will have to show proof of vaccination to get inside.
Meyer made the announcement on CNBC’s Squawk Box on Thursday afternoon. According to the interview, the mandate will apply to their full service restaurants in New York and Washington D.C.
“We’re following the lead of city, state, and federal government, and we’re going to do this ourselves…. Our full service restaurants in New York City and Washington D.C. to require that all staff members be vaccinated, and also to require guests that want to dine indoors show proof they have been vaccinated.”
When pressed on whether there would be potential legal backlash from employees that don’t want to be forced to get vaccinated, or whether it will motivate employees to leave work, Meyer stated “If that’s the case, that would be sad. We really tried to lead with a carrot for many many months now. It’s been about 150 days that we’ve been truly encouraging people. A vast majority of the Union Square Hospitality Group have been vaccinated.
The Group has given employees 8 hours of paid time off to go receive the vaccination, as well has holding open vaccinations in the restaurants.
However, Meyer alluded to an unemployment ultimatum for the employees not vaccinated within the next 45 days – “We are going to give our employee 45 days. Hopefully this is the incentive [the dual vaccination requirement] to say, “Now I’m going to do it.”
Meyer also went on to say that a Covid-19 vaccination is inline with other hygienic restaurant precautions like gloves and hand washing.
Shake Shack has not made a similar sweeping employee and customer vaccine mandate. Union Square Hospitality Group does not have control of the burger franchise.
“The is the most logical thing I can think of,” Meyer added.
This mandate comes as Covid-19 Delta variants infections are on the rise, seemingly for both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals.
Union Square operates Anchovy Social, Blue Smoke, Caffe Marchio, Cedric’s At The Shed, Ci Saimo, Daily Provisions, Gramery Tavern, Intersect by Lexus, Loball, Mailino, Manhattan, Marta The Modern, and Porchlight, Tacocina, Union Square Cafe, and Vini E Fritti restaurants.
The vaccination mandate goes into effect starting September 7th, 2021.
Atlanta based SweetWater Brewing Company has announced a new production facility, taproom, and restaurant in Fort Collins, Colorado.
This week, SweetWater acquired Red Truck Brewing, a Canadian brewery that bought the brewery from Fort Collins Brewing back in 2017. Red Truck closed its doors in March 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic, and never reopened. The amount of the purchase has not been disclosed.
The 32,450 square foot space will see brewing and packaging equipment upgrades, as well as a taproom and restaurant overhaul.
Additionally, the Denver Airport will soon be home to a SweetWater airport bar location, joining Last Call Bar and Grill in Atlanta’s Hartsfield Jackson Airport.
SweetWater ranks 11th in overall production volume amongst craft brewers in U.S. for calendar year 2020 according to the Brewers Association, currently distributing to 34 states.
The brewery opened in 1997.
After 18 months full of words we are completely tired of hearing, like “social distancing,” “self isolation,” or “new normal,” Pabst Blue Ribbon is celebrating America’s Independence in the most PBR way possible…with a 1,776 pack of beer.
The freedom-inspired #1776Pack is being sent to four different groups the brewery loves – including Igloo (because cold beer), skateboarding podcast The Nine Club, comedian Ali Macofsky, and the band Hot Mulligan. Content on PBR’s social media channels will feature content from the preceding, presumably drinking all 1,776 beers. Probably not all at once.
America REALLY was meant to be. The 1776 pack contains 148 12-packs of PBR. If the Declaration of Independence had been adopted in 1775, you’d have 147 12-packs and one weird 11 pack. Or even worse, 1777, you’d have an extra beer rolling around in there. Perhaps it was part of the grand design all along.
Sadly, those thirsty for the 1,776 pack will have to resign themselves to buying all 148 12-packs separately and pretending. It won’t be publicly available. However the 99-pack is making a comeback in stores this July. You’ll only need 17.93 of those to equal 1776. You figure out what .93 of a beer is on your own.
“We figured the best way to honor the year America claimed its independence was to make a box that held that many beers – 1,776. It’s the least we could do. I mean beyond making our beer can red, and white, and blue. Actually 1,776 is the most we could do because 1,777 seemed excessive.” – Nick Reely, VP Marketing – Pabst Blue Ribbon
“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance. (and a lot of beer.)” – Thomas Jefferson (mostly.)
Image: Pabst Blue Ribbon
Highland Brewing, Asheville’s oldest craft brewery will open a second taproom next week in their home city. The brewery got its start more than two decades ago in the downtown area, and starting next week will have a home in the center of the city once again.
The historic S&W Building in downtown Asheville, opened in 1929, is now home to the The S&W Market. Building owners Ellington Realty Group has partnered with five-time James Beard nominee Meherwan Irani, known for Chai Pani Restaurant Group and Spicewalla for five different internal food concepts. The space is anchored by a two floor Highland Brewing tap room.
Highland will have 18 taps on site, featuring small batch and barrel aged offerings. Patrons are free to drink, eat, work and wander through the hall at their own leisure.
The food tenants include Bun Intended, Buxton Chicken Palace, Farm Dogs, Hop Ice Cream S&W, and Peace, Love & Tacos. Adjacent to the S&W Building is The Times Bar.
The S&W Market is located at 56 Patton Avenue in Asheville, open to the public on June 16th.
Actor Nick Offerman, Lagavulin Whiskey, and Guinness are debuting a new partnership ahead of Father’s Day 2021. A combination of single malt whisky and beer – Meet Lagavulin Offerman Edition: Guinness Cask Finish.
Offerman and Lagavulin began a partnership back in 2014. Offerman, probably most famously known as Ron Swanson on the tv show Parks and Rec, was often seen drinking Lagavulin Whisky and rare steaks throughout the show. Swanson (Offerman) even visited the distillery in Scotland in Season 6.
Created with Offerman’s father Ric in mind, Lagavulin took an 11 year Islay Single Malt and aged it for 4 months in Guinness casks from the brewery’s Open Gate Brewery in Maryland. The resulting flavor is describing as ‘sweet peat’ – combining the intense peat and charred wood notes of the Lagavulin with the roasted coffee, dark chocolate, and sweet caramel notes from the Guinness casks.
Offerman’s entire Lagavulin: My Tales of Whisky, including a new episode for this new collaboration is available on YouTube.
Lagavulin Offerman Edition: Guinness Cask Finish will be available in 750-milliliter bottles at select retailers starting in May, $79.99 each.
America’s largest beer festival – The Great American Beer Festival has been officially canceled for the second year in a row.
The Brewers Association, the not-for-profit trade organization announced today that despite vaccinations and the country re-opening, that health and safety concerns will still be too great to hold the 60,000 person indoor gathering in 2021. Instead, the Brewers Association plans to host GABF with in-person attendance for the event’s 40th anniversary in 2022.
Despite the in-person event cancelation, GABF and the Brewers Association will host the beer competition portion of the event, just like they did in 2020.
“We are disappointed to cancel the festival portion of GABF for the second year in a row. While we will miss celebrating with beer lovers and our craft brewing community, we are excited to continue with the GABF competition and national passport program this year. We look forward to convening in person for the festival’s 40th anniversary in 2022.” – said Bob Pease, president and CEO for the Brewers Association
Winners of the 2021 competition will be announced on September 10, 2021, at the Colorado Convention Center. live-streamed from the Bellco Theatre on The Brewing Network.
In lieu of the in-person event, the “passport program” will return for a 2nd year, from September 17 through October 17, 2021. The Passport gives the holder exclusive deals at breweries across the U.S. More than 1,100 breweries from all 50 states were a part of the program in 2020. Brewery registration for the 2021 passport program opens June 29 at GreatAmericanBeerFestival.com.
In contrast, the Denver Beer Week, an annual event usually held coinciding with GABF will be held September 9-12.
Additionally, VISIT DENVER is hosting a nine-day celebration of craft beer Starting September 10th.
The Brewers Association has released their ‘Top 50’ list for 2020, aka “the killer of business plans.”
As you can probably guess, any brewery in America that relied heavily on draft sales had an especially hard year.
New to the list this year, and now the second brewery in Georgia to break the Top 50 (craft in volume) is Athens, Georgia-based Creature Comforts Brewing Co. That’s possible thanks to a large scale production facility a few miles from their downtown location. That production boost, plus expanded distribution has pushed them into the 48th spot.
Another notable entry and re-entry to the Top 50 is Chicago area-based Kings and Convicts, which, after the acquisition of Ballast Point, puts Kings onto the list for the first time, and Ballast Point back into the Top 50. When Ballast Point was acquired by Constellation in 2015 for a whopping $1 billion dollars.
Overall in volume in the United States AB-InBev still leads in volume, followed by MolsonCoors and Constellation (Corona, Funky Buddha).
A media State of the Industry is scheduled by the Brewers Association for April 8th.
Top 50 Craft Brewing Companies
Top 50 Overall Brewing Companies