There have been so many great stories of businesses adapting and pivoting to stay relevant and supportive during the COVID-19 pandemic. Breweries have been no exception – because breweries are the best.
Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company has established itself as a tourism draw in its hometown of Vankleek Hill and has been hosting events like Oktoberfest and St. Patrick’s Day for the last 14 years. For now, these highly sociable parties have been put on hold for obvious reasons. So how does the brewery continue to make an impact?
Like many of us now working from home, Beau’s moved its presence online. “Virtual Oktoberfest was a big win for us,” says Jen Beauchesne, Not-so-Corporate Communications Coordinator and employee-owner at Beau’s. “Beer naturally brings people together, and it’s one of the reasons we love what we do – in person and virtually.”
Back in April, Beau’s teamed up with Dunrobin Distilleries to supply the National Capital Region with much-needed sanitizer. Beau’s had several thousand kegs of beer that wouldn’t be sold in then-shuttered restaurants, so they made lemons into lemonade – or beer into sanitizer. The brewery had the space necessary for production and Dunrobin Distilleries had the equipment needed. The equipment provided by Dunrobin Distilleries is used to distill Beau’s beer into pure alcohol, then it is combined with other ingredients to create extra-strength hand sanitizer.
“We’ve been making the sanitizer ever since. We sell it to some great Canadian companies like Giant Tiger and Lee Valley, and in turn, we use a portion of those sales to fund donations of sanitizer to hospitals and front-line care,” says Beauchesne.
“So far, we have donated to about 25 different local hospitals and not-for-profits, including CHEO and Shepherds of Good Hope.”
This collaborative initiative was recognized by the 2020 Ottawa Business Journal #BOBs (Best Ottawa Business) awards under the category of Social Entrepreneurship, winning the Best Performance award in the category.
If you want to support Beau’s and local hospitals by purchasing hand sanitizer, it’s available in the retail store in 250 ml personal bottles, both lavender and unscented, and they also have 3L boxes for industrial use.
On the flip side from Beau’s hand sanitizer is their new Lug Tread 2.5% beer. “We’ve seen an overall shift in customers wanting to choose a beer that suits not just the season, but the specific occasion. So that’s what we had in mind with Lug Tread 2.5%: a beer you could enjoy at lunch, or during a work social, without worrying about overdoing it,” Beauchesne shares. Both new products are there to help you keep it clean – especially during the holiday and holiday-party season.