As COVID-19 cases continue to soar in Ohio and a new wave of restrictions sets in–including a statewide mask order, a 10 p.m. curfew, and a stay-at-home advisory for the city of Columbus–local businesses large and small alike are struggling to stay afloat.
(614) contacted Wolf’s Ridge Brewing, one of the city’s most lauded craft breweries–responsible for beers like Dire Wolf imperial Stout or Pack IPA–to see how they’re handling the most recent wave of COVID setbacks.
“It’s frustration,” said Wolf’s Ridge owner Bob Szuter. “That’s the general response to this. We’ve been doing everything the right way, and we’ve had to keep finding new ways to adapt to this environment and continue our business.”
Currently, the Wolf’s Ridge dining room is open for dinner service between Tuesday and Saturday from 5 p.m.-10 p.m., and for brunch on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Beer is available on tap in the dining room as well (thankfully).
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The brewery’s taproom is only offering curbside pickup and delivery service, but they continue to churn out a fantastic list of fun and downright awesome awesome holiday brews at a fast clip (so keep an eye out), including Cosma Canyon, a cranberry sauce Berliner Weiss; Home for the Holidays, a classic holiday spiced ale; and Sustinator, a wonderfully-balanced doppelbock that’s the perfect companion for colder weather.
And while delivery sales had initially spiked in Spring as they were first offered, according to Szuter, these too have started to fall off since more businesses reopened. “Things have slowed down dramatically with delivery, but we’ve seen a small uptick [since the recent COVID restrictions came in place], so we’ll see if that translates to more sales. We’re going to lean on that harder in the coming months,” he said.
While the brewery has always had a penchant for creativity (crafting a cranberry sauce sour beer and another–recalling a favorite childhood cereal–named Cinnamon Toast Brunch), they’re now putting this to the test in a variety of ways that will hopefully hopeful translate into sales for the business, including holiday bundles and more.
“Our bundles have seen a lot of support from the community as well,” said Szuter.
The brewery has other exciting holiday plans in the works as well (aside from beer and merch delivery), so make sure to check in regularly at their online store here.
And while Szuter and company will continue innovating with top-notch beers, his ideal situation would be the safest option: closing with state or federal aid, something that unfortunately isn’t a reality yet.
“The biggest thing for us is federal support; we would prefer to close down at a time like this,” he said. ‘We closed down in July because we felt like we could still carry on, but right now we’re past that point.”