CHARLOTTE, N.C. — In a typical March, the line wraps around the door of the brewery’s taprooms, an impatient crowd gathered from all over the state, thirsty for the return of seasonal brew Peanut Butter Jelly Time.
But March 2020 was not typical for Billy Pyatt, owner of Catawba Valley Brewing Co. in Morganton, whose cans and kegs have become a mainstay in bars, restaurants and grocery stores across North Carolina — from its foothills taproom and Charlotte outpost to Mellow Mushroom in Raleigh.
The pandemic had Pyatt, who owns the firm with his wife and brother, trying to hold his footing and uncertain of his next moves. Wholesalers were canceling keg orders. Taprooms were forced to close. Business went from “fine” to 45% capacity.
And there was no end in sight.
“You’re looking at a company that’s running on certainly less than half of its resources,” he said. “We were just planning for the worst.”
That meant cutting external consulting contracts and negotiating with landlords and lenders. And it meant laying off employees who had helped build the brewery’s success.
He is not alone, as many business owners across the state are concerned about the future of their ventures as COVID-19 cases continue to rise and Congress weighs more action.
Read the full story here.
© 2020 Cox Media Group