Fighting fear with beer: Virus spurs curbside beer sales

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY/AP) — Sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name. But with the new coronavirus popping up all over the country, a trip to your favorite tap room isn’t in the offing. So breweries are stepping up, offering curbside growlers to stave off the grumbling.

Amid the growing coronavirus pandemic, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper issued an executive order Tuesday closing all restaurants and bars, except for takeout. But instead of grumbling, Tar Heels are growling.

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A number of other states around the country have put similar measures into place. But where one door shuts, another door may open.

Breweries are finding that’s a car door.

Wrightsville Beach Brewery is doing takeout, curbside pickup and even delivery from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Owner Jud Watkins says this is an experiment, so they’re learning as they go.

Customers can pick up orders of food, six-packs of beer and growlers. They’ll also bring it to your car curbside, and even put it in the backseat of your car to avoid contact as much as possible.

Watkins says they have extra hand sanitizer, and employees put a new pair of gloves on for each customer.

You can also call a day ahead and make a small grocery order for items they have in the kitchen.

“So what can local restaurants do?” Watkins said. “What can we do to support our local economy, and take a little bit of pressure off the grocery stores until we can make this adjustment to what’s become our new norm. Hopefully it’s a very short-term new norm, but in the mean time, we’ve got to come up with some creative solutions.”

Wrightsville Beach Brewery is also delivering for free to customers within a four-mile radius. They strongly encourage people to make a $5 donation to Nourish NC. There is also a donation bin if you go into the restaurant to pick up a takeout order.

Edward Teach Brewing is also doing what they can to keep business going. They are doing curbside pick-up for order of four-packs of beer, their wine and ciders.

An employee with Edward Teach says they also usually do free food on Thursdays, and will be packaging that up as well for customers who come pick up orders.

Flying Machine Brewing Company is also doing curbside pickup. They say you can call and order ahead or just drive up and order.

From 12 p.m. to 8 p.m., they will be selling their 4-packs of canned beer and growlers of their draft beers.