Året er nyt, spørgsmålene er nogenlunde de samme som de plejer, men afspejler tiden vi lever i. Denne gang er det Steve Rold fra Fanø Bryghus, der svarer.
1: How did Covid-19 affect the brewery in 2020?
Where to start… As a brewery that subsists largely on tourism and local island sales we were almost crippled by the nation-wide shutdown and border closings early in the year. While the cancelation of large gatherings and festivals was the right call from a heath and safety standpoint it was still a real kick in the pants for a brewery like ours that counts on providing a large portion of our yearly production to the dozens of concerts and festivals that are hosted on Fanø and the surrounding area each year.
Throughout the first few months almost all of our staff was furloughed and our production slowed and shifted away from our standard releases and moved towards stronger beers that were designed for longer cellaring times. We just felt this was the best way to keep the brewery active until we had a clearer picture of just how the year would be unfolding.
2: What was the best thing about 2020 for the brewery?
Without a doubt it was the way that the Danish people responded and supported the brewery both during the shutdown and the weeks and months that followed. We were absolutely flooded with calls and emails from people either wanting to order our beer or just to know what they could do to help us. Once the brewery taproom was able to open again under the new restrictions we were completely humbled not only by the amount of people that made the trip out to have a beer with us but also by how understanding each person was about following the new guidelines. Almost every day this summer we had a line of people down the street waiting patiently to visit the taproom. That just isn’t something that happens on Fanø.
3: What will be most important for the brewery in 2021?
Even though the real answer is probably Covid related (how the world continues to deal with it and how those reactions trickle down to our part of the world) I’m going with something less depressing. The most important thing for our brewery in 2021 will be managing our production numbers and continue to work out the details of our growth. In August of 2020 we were able to install three new fermentation vessels and eight serving tanks for our taproom. This has put us in a great position to increase our production and better supply the rest of the country once it has opened again and we are looking forward to that challenge.
4: What is the biggest challenge that the Danish breweries are facing in 2021?
Again, the obvious answer seems to be how each brewery is able to individually navigate the pandemic and successfully come out on the other side. Covid is likely to take a large chuck out of everyone’s year once again and each brewery will have to bounce back against a unique set of obstacles and challenges.
5: Who deserves a pat on the back?
I would say that the people at Royal Unibrew / Theodor Schiøtz Brewing Co. / Anarkist Beer & Food Lab deserve recognition for their continued “Danmarks Største Virtuelle Ølsmagning” series. When the first one launched it was a nice distraction for a lot of people in the country. Each tasting has been a great way to support a handful of Danish breweries you might not normally have the chance to check out. It also seems to have provided a clever socially distanced template which several breweries have since followed. No small amount of work goes into setting those tasting up which is evident in the final result. If you haven’t tried one yet I highly recommend them.