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Craft brewery in Mission facing challenges amid pandemic

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Within the past weeks, all attention has been placed on how to save lives and slowdown the spread of the coronavirus.

But many businesses still continue to wait for the day they can reopen, such as craft breweries.

For craft brewery 5 x 5 in Mission, they want to follow health guidelines, but they fear Governor Abbott's orders could put them out of business.

The brewery's main business is to bottle and serve craft beer made on-site.

"[I feel like I'm] drowning, getting out head above water," said George Rice, the owner of 5 x 5 Brewing. "We've laid off about 80 percent of our staff and we probably have another lay-off coming very soon"

Craft brewers across Texas specialize in beer tastings, where customers usually enjoy their drinks outside.

5 x 5 in Mission also sells their beer for wholesale to bars. But without many clients in recent months, Rice says his business has been struggling.

He says he would like to can his beer, but he does not have permission from the state. Leaving his business with little options to be successful.

"But even if we did do canning, its a four or five month wait process through the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission to get label approval," Rice said.

An approval he says will not come promptly during the pandemic.

As a solution, the Texas Craft Brewers Guild is asking governor Abbott to amend his executive order and allow craft breweries to reopen for on-site beer tastings.

The brewers guild says, beer gardens want to follow strict health and safety protocols just like at restaurants.

"Our industry is going to be one of the hardest hit in Texas when it comes to this pandemic," Rice said.

According to the brewers' guild website, two in three craft brewers will survive the pandemic. The statement goes on to say that those craft brewers would close for good if nothing is done within the next three months.

 

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