During coronavirus closures, Beer City finds a way

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — In Beer City USA, even widespread coronavirus shutdowns can’t keep the beer from flowing.

Craft Beer Cellar in downtown Grand Rapids was already unique before the unprecedented public health moves. It’s half taproom, half bottle shop.

“It’s a hybrid store. You can drink anything on site. We have 20 drafts and about a thousand packaged beers,” co-owner Brian Beucher said.

craft beer cellar delivery
An empty Craft Beer Cellar in Grand Rapids, which is preparing beer for pick up and delivery. (March 17, 2020)

But the chairs on top of tables are a very real picture of what Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive order to close bars, as well as restaurant dining rooms and a slew of other businesses, means to many local owners.

On Friday, days before the closures, Beucher decided how he was going to improvise, adapt and overcome.

“Order online, schedule a time you want it to be delivered and it’s probably going to be me driving it out there,” Beucher said.

craft beer cellar delivery
Craft Beer Cellar in Grand Rapids is offering beer pick up and delivery. (March 17, 2020)

For a $5 delivery fee, Beucher and his staff are delivering beer to anyone in the 49503 through 49507 area codes. He said business has been slow so far, but his customers are delighted, thrilled and, maybe in some cases, relieved.

“They’re super thankful and genuinely just appreciative. I delivered today and she’s just like, ‘Thank you so much, take care out there, be safe,'” Beucher recalled.

New Tuesday, Craft Beer Cellar will 16-ounce cans, howlers and growlers for delivery.

“With our entire craft catalog online, you can get all the weird things and you don’t have to spend your time driving downtown if you don’t want to,” Beucher said. “Again, we’ll bring it to you.”

Only time will tell if the bar-to-door service will stick around. But for now, no one in Beer City has to go without, executive order or not.


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