Our ongoing series of updates on how local breweries are continuing to adapt to the new rules and regulations takes us to Rio Rancho, where Brew Lab 101 did not even get to its first anniversary before having to switch to the to-go-only model. Luckily, the brewery is hanging in there, as owner/brewer Scott Salvas told us in response to a series of emailed questions.
NMDSBC: What pandemic era innovations have worked out for your brewery?
Salvas: We made our club membership more valuable by increasing the discount on products to 20 percent. This has significantly increased membership sales and will help ensure a nice steady return of customers once we are open. We also discounted our price on our PET growlers. Finally, we ordered a can seamer so we can increase our line of package products, stay tuned for more info on that.
NMDSBC: Has online ordering (should you have it) been a bonus or a headache?
Salvas: We aren’t doing online, but we do have some folks ordering by phone, but 90 percent is still just folks walking in.
NMDSBC: Have sales remained constant or are they fluctuating week-by-week, day-by-day?
Salvas: They fluctuate day to day, but week to week is still about the same.
NMDSBC: Have customers responded positively to any beer/food discounts? Or have you found most people are still unaware?
Salvas: As I mentioned above the membership discount is very popular, as well as the PET growler product. (PET are 32-ounce growlers made from plastic that can be recycled.)
NMDSBC: What are some ideas you have coming up? Please include any special beer releases you would already like to start letting people know about.
Salvas: We continue to brew new recipes such as the Blonde Bombshell and newer versions of our X-IPA (Experimental IPA). I’m also working on some new cider recipes, more to come on that.
NMDSBC: If the stay-at-home order is extended to mid or late May, or even beyond, is there a point where the current to-go-only model is not going to be feasible for your brewery?
Salvas: For now, we are sustainable and can make this work out for a while. However, this is the time when most of us bank money that helps during the slower parts of the year so hopefully there aren’t issues down the road. Also, let’s face it … doing take out is not fun for a bar and not the dream. The fun and satisfaction of owning a bar, restaurant, (or) brewery is watching it full of people enjoying themselves. My staff and customers are ready to get back to normal service!
We are all ready to get back to normal service, but acknowledge we have to wait until health officials say it is safe. A big thanks to Scott for responding to our questionnaire. Look for more articles on this series as the week comes to a close.
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