Clark County craft brewers are weathering the COVID-19 crisis by doing what they do best — brewing beer and selling it, just not to people drinking on-site. Brewers are banding together, getting creative, and, as they say at Fortside Brewing Company, staying “beer strong.”
After all the bars and restaurants in Washington were shut down earlier this month, beer enthusiast and marketer Michael Perozzo came up with the idea of connecting beer drinkers with breweries virtually.
Perozzo, founder of ZZeppelin Media, assists craft brewers with marketing in his professional capacity. This isn’t just a job; Perozzo loves locally made craft beer. He’s easily spotted at any brew launches or collaboration celebration by his thick, dark beard, black framed glasses and a baseball hat. He’s the guy who knows everyone in the room — the unofficial mayor of Vancouver craft beer.
He wondered how he could re-create the pub experience in this new era of social distancing. Beer Nerds, a private Facebook group with 3,500 members from all over the place, seemed like a good vehicle for launching this virtual pub.
From March 17 through March 23, when Gov. Jay Inslee issued a stay-at-home-order, Perozzo went to different breweries to talk about beer and sip a pint with the brewers while viewers cracked open a cold one and poured their own pint at home.