Amarillo’s small breweries struggling as they are forced to close along with bars

VIDEO: Amarillo’s small breweries struggling as they are forced to close along with bars

AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - The bills continue to pile up for local breweries that thought they were out of the woods. Last Friday, Governor Greg Abbott signed an executive order directing bars to close, including local breweries.

Jared Read is co-owner of the Long Spoon Brewery and saw the first shutdown wipe out nearly 90 percent of his income. He says he has not been able to keep up with bills ever since.

“That was the part that I think hurt the most was watching us get wiped off that quick and not being able to do anything. We were coming back,” said Read.

Brewers assure their businesses are different and believe they should not be put under the same category as bars.

“We’re not a bar. We are a brewery that has a tap room, so basically a tasting room, but we get lumped in, because I think it’s just easier to lump everybody together,” said Read.

Kaleb West, co-owner of Pondaseta Brewing Company, said they prepared for everything, but never thought their main issue would be a global pandemic.

While West says Pondaseta has seen success in transitioning to online marketing, he doesn’t feel breweries should be in the same category as bars.

“We would like to be viewed not as restaurants or as bars. You can categorize us as what we are more realistically. Most breweries I have been to have this huge communal focus, we are a family friendly operation. We are not here late, there is no one at the bar taking shots and yelling and all that,” West said.

Although both brewery owners are still open for curbside pick up, they say their sale margin is much lower than it was when people were coming in and drinking there. For now, they are grateful for the support of the community, and agree they would not be surviving without them.

The Texas Craft Brew Guild has created a petition and is in contact with Governor Abbott’s office to call for several changes. Among these, they are calling for the temporary cancellation of tax collection by the TABC, the ability to deliver to customers at their apartments and to be categorized differently than bars.

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