NEWSLETTER SPRING 2020: QUARANTINE EDITION
Mare Island Brewing Co

WELL, THIS IS JUST ALL, JUST...NUTTY.

Never in a million years did we expect to be writing a newsletter in the middle of a full-on-Covid-19 lockdown. But, hell, we’re going to try. Like everyone, we’re still trying to figure out what in tarnation just hit us, and more importantly, trying to figure out how we can punch back. We’re also just bunkering down, (though our bunker has beer!); in that way, it seems a somewhat fitting time to sit and write out an update for all the Mare Islanders out there. Here is the Mare Island Brewing Co. Newsletter “Quarantine Edition”: Carry-Out, Quarantine Kits, Yardbird Release, and Yardbird “Drive-Thru” Pick-Up Party (yup).

GOVENOR NEWSOM JUST SAID WHAT?!

We’ve always prided ourselves on being a gathering place for our community. And suddenly gathering places were at risk of becoming hot spots for community spread. As soon as the Governor’s directive came down, we, of course, did our part. We cancelled all the Coal Shed Brewery special events for the next few months, including the Wet Mile, and we stacked up the chairs and went to Online Carry-Out only at the Ferry Taproom. It was an incredibly sad and distressing few days, to say the least.

The shock waves from all this are still echoing off the brewery walls. Outside of the Ferry Taproom and the Coal Shed special events, we mostly distributed beer to restaurants. And those struggling restaurant brethren are also shut down, not ordering, and in some instances not paying their bills and possibly not re-opening (ever). This has been heartbreaking on the service industry.

Absolutely the worst part of this for us is that, with the taprooms closed and a fraction of revenue coming in, we simply couldn’t carry the payroll for our entire staff. It was by far the darkest day of our five-year company history when we had to furlough most the service staff, and the remaining employees all offered to work on reduced rates (bless them) to help keep the doors open so we all have a business to come back to when this is all over. We’re still providing all the benefits we can (health, discounts, and beer). But furloughs are, well…that’s the worst part of it all.

KEEP CALM AND CARRY OUT

 

As we mentioned, our bunker has beer—and we’re eager to get some to your bunker as well.

A dedicated core team has kept the doors open at the Ferry Taproom for Online Carry-Out ordering from 12-7pm daily. The Ferry Taproom has become a great source for to-go food for our community, as well as a source of some key provisions. We beefed up our canned offerings, and growler fill business has been brisk.  We have been able to still get bread, rice, beans, flour, and occasionally even TP from our restaurant supply (no promises on softness, but so far it’s been quality)—we’re imitating a little general store down here at the Ferry Building.

We’ve been proud of our ability to still serve and service the community in the middle of all this. Chef David is still whipping up some killer daily specials (and chocolate chip cookies), which you can learn about daily on Instagram. Ordering online is easy, plus we’d love to see you.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW OUR ONLINE MENU OR PLACE AN ORDER.

QUARANTINE KITS

By popular demand, we’ve figured out a way for you to send some beer-love to those sheltering-in-place! Whether it is your key customers, your sales team transitioning to work-from-home, or a loved one suddenly homeschooling kids in a 900 square foot NYC apartment…everyone loves the gift of beer.

We have two options. The “Standard” (for $80), that includes a mixed four-pack of 16oz cans of beer, a “dad” hat baseball cap, two pint glasses, a little sanitizer made by our friends down at Savage & Cooke, and a roll of TP with a “Damn the Torpedoes” sticker. We also offer an “Executive” version (pictured here for $135) which adds to the above another mixed four-pack of 16oz cans and one of the coveted 25oz insulated MIBC water bottles.

Price is inclusive of tax and shipping within the continental U.S. For large quantity orders, we can customize the gift card to reflect your message and company logo. Reach out to garrett@mareislandbrewingco.com if you are interested.

BREWING UP THE YARDBIRD RELEASE

Yes, we are still brewing up the Yardbird Release for our beer club. Honestly, with so much of our food and beverage service shut down, it’s been the one positive rally point for us: crafting a killer Yardbird release case.

At first, we wondered if, with all the doom-and-gloom headlines, it would seem tone-deaf to push forward with the Yardbird release. But then we heard loud and clear that you all want beer for your bunker. We’re happy to oblige. And honestly, if you want to support your favorite brewery focused on the incredible heritage of Mare Island, staying (or becoming) a Yardbird would mean the world to us right now. 

The brew team has conjured up some awesome new recipes (one that was developed from a WorkShop beer with our Yardbirds on our Ferry Taproom deck last year), and we’ve found some fantastic names and stories for the labels. We’ll be slowly following the brewing process and revealing the brew styles, names, and stories on social media over the next few weeks if you want to join us there. If so, here's our Facebook, and here's our Instagram.

Yes, the Yardbird Shipment is still coming in May, and we are still having a party. Well, a kind of party. Read on...

YARDBIRD PARTY: DRIVE-THRU EDITION

The Yardbird Party is one of the true highlights of the year—for not only our customers but also for us! We get a chance to see all our best supporters and celebrate all things Mare Island. The thought of canceling our beloved Yardbird Party had been triggering despair and depression in the ranks. Then we lit on an idea.

Yardbird Party: Drive-Thru Edition. We’re going to set up in the Coal Shed back alley for a mini Yardbird Party that you can experience without leaving your car. Saturday, May 9th from 1-4pm, Chef David will be cooking up and handing you (with a gloved hand, of course) a quesadilla and churro (in honor of, ahem, one of our new beer styles for this release). We’ll load your case directly into your trunk. You can play the Yardbird game from your car (and, as always, there will be a winner who makes it onto the trophy), and as you drive-thru, you will be serenaded by a local duo, who are renaming themselves “Social Distance” for the occasion. It’ll be a quick (but fruitful and fun) ten-minute trip through our Coal Shed alley, free to all Yardbirds picking up that day (and we are intending to livestream it on Facebook).

But you have to be a Yardbird to partake. We’d love to have you.

WE WILL PREVAIL

The history of Mare Island Naval Shipyard includes victory in a Civil, a Cold, and two World Wars. In that spirit, Mare Island Brewing Co. will support this war effort, and be assured we will ultimately prevail.

We’re trying to serve our community with food, beer, and toilet paper (and doing so safely). We’re arguing with our insurance company and applying for every SBA program there is — doing everything we can to get our employees all the support we can (and ultimately back to work). We’re definitely still brewing. For those moments where despair starts to set in, we sit out on the waterfront, six feet apart, and sample our own wares. 

The moment they lift the limits on gatherings, we’re planning a “Free the Birds” party on the waterfront to celebrate. 

Stay tuned, stay safe, and stay sane. We’ll get through this. 


Damn the Torpedoes,

Kent and Ryan

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