Despite the impact that COVID-19 has on so many parts of our daily lives, some of our clients have turned to creativity and innovation to keep their business moving and contribute to the community. We are inspired by our clients, now more than ever, and wanted to share some of their stories during this time with you. If you haven’t already, check out our stories on Kenco Label & Tag Co., LLC and Ad-Tech.

We shouldn’t have expected any less from a crowdsourced beer company. MobCraft Beer, one of our craft brewery clients, has had to get creative, and fast, in the wake of COVID-19. With Wisconsin’s “Safer at Home” orders, they’ve had to shift their entire business model to to-go sales, delivery, and at-home experiences in a moment’s notice. For Elise Strupp, MobCraft’s Event & Programming Manager, this has meant changing her focus from booking weddings and rehearsal dinners to packaging up experiences and turning them into Zoom events.

How do you turn in-person activities to virtual ones?

MobCraft has had to figure out how to turn in-person taproom events into pickup-friendly virtual events. Sourfest was supposed to be held on March 28 onsite. Instead, people were able to pick up kits in the taproom with 6 sour beers. Participants then went on Zoom to learn more about the beers, hear from brewers and owners, and taste what they would have normally tried in the taproom. There were about 70 people in attendance, and MobCraft was able to incorporate other breweries to promote their businesses as well. Coming up, they’re going to be hosting an IPA Homeschool that will be similar to the Sourfest.

They also haven’t let going virtual stop them from doing more unique pairing events. MobCraft bagged up to-go orders of Girl Scout cookies and beers, made complete with a paper guide to each pairing. This past weekend, they did a Pop’s Kettle Corn pairing, incorporating another local business in the fun.

Chortek Summer 2019 Open House - Chortek branded Mob Craft Beer - Design by Tuc Krueger

Even happy hours have an online alternative

If you’re looking to fill some time on weeknights and get in that requisite social interaction, you can join MobCraft’s NoRona Happy Hour, held Monday – Saturday, usually at 5:30 p.m. You can visit their Facebook page to get details about specific dates coming up. If you’re home by yourself, or looking to take a break from the news, consider this your refuge.

Every day is a different topic, so if you’re interested in a book club, beer pairings, or hearing from other breweries and distilleries, the happy hour gives you lots of chances to connect with others from your living room.

One thing MobCraft has been really happy about during this time is its stable of loyal patrons. The Mug Club members have continued to stay engaged online, with some people attending every single event from home. The brewery has felt that sense of community, even when people are stuck at home.

MobCraft’s events emphasize community involvement

With many businesses being forced to close doors and let employees go, MobCraft has been able to keep the workers who rely on their positions as their full-time source of income employed and busy. While some of the business’ focus is on making sure events keep rolling, the other goal is to help other breweries and local businesses through partnering events.

A few examples are listed in the events above, but many more have already happened or are in the works. Broken Bat, a brewery that opened up on April 1, in the middle of the pandemic, has been one of MobCraft’s focuses. They featured an IPA from Broken Bat in a recent event. They’re also doing a Boilermaker series with their close neighbor, Great Lakes Distillery. Most events currently listed on their site incorporate another local business.

Chortek Summer 2019 Open House - guests enjoying the detail on our branded beers

How else can you support MobCraft?

Maybe you’re busy during happy hour times, or you don’t really want to drink beer, but you still want to support local business. MobCraft has come up with all kinds of opportunities to give back. You can view them all on their support page, but here are a few ideas:

  • Virtual tipping: Drinking at home? Consider using the virtual tip jar to support the bartenders you’d usually tip on a night out.
  • Gift cards: If you spend $25 in gift cards, you get an additional $5 in customer credit. Consider it an investment in your going out future, and it ensures the businesses you love will be open after COVID-19.
  • Furniture-grade barrels: If beer is REALLY not your thing, but furniture is, you can use the barrels to make tables, gardening beds, you name it!
  • Pizza and wine delivery: While beer is relegated to pick-up only, you can get pizza and wine delivered to your house. Sounds like an instant date night!
  • Purchase a new support shirt – these crazy soft shirts support the staff!

We salute MobCraft and their ingenuity in these tricky times. For now, we’ll raise a glass remotely. Zoom happy hour, anyone? ​