Taprooms Hope Pandemic Relief Comes with Summer Sales
Many local breweries had to pivot during the pandemic after COVID-19 restrictions limited how they could sell their products. According to the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild, Minnesota lost $186 million in economic activity as a result of reduced business and laid-off workers at taprooms.
OMNI Brewing Co. owners in Maple Grove consider themselves lucky to break even. They say the past year was challenging when they had to rely on to-go sales only.
“We appreciate our customers for keeping us afloat during the shutdown,” said Tommie Hollingsworth, events manager at OMNI Brewing. “It’s been definitely a bit of a whiplash. We’re excited some of the restrictions have been lifted.”
Reservations are no longer needed for OMNI’s taproom and seating is on a first-come, first-serve basis. Social distancing remains in place with no more than six customers allowed at a table. Customers are also asked to keep their face masks on when not seated.
Although finances were iffy during the pandemic, some patrons say they made it a point to come out and support their local beer house.
“Because they’re part of our community, and it’s where we like to come and spend time together,” said one customer.
OMNI Taproom Creates Community Events
OMNI Brewing is adding more diverse events in hopes of attracting customers and creating a family-friendly environment in Maple Grove. “Tacos and Tunes” is one of them.
“We have a craft mobile kitchen come out with our tacos, and we have all the different beers you can choose from,” explained Hollingsworth.
During the pandemic, the taproom pivoted by getting out in the community. For the first time, the brewery teamed up with Three Rivers Park District’s Eastman Nature Center for a maple syrup celebration.
OMNI used maple syrup from last year to create its special trail mix craft beer, which you can get at the event, offering a unique way to sample the syrup.