The impact of COVID-19 across Canada has been both tragic and transformative, as people have slowly begun to adjust to the realities of living in pandemic conditions. Nowhere have the dominos fallen so profoundly than in the hospitality and entertainment industry, where closures of live performance venues and restrictions on nightclubs and restaurants have reduced demand of products from food and beverage manufacturers such as Northern Superior Brewing Company.
“The impact on restaurants and bars made a significant impact on our business, too,” said Trevor Zachary of Northern Superior Brewing. “Although, what we saw locally, was more creativity by local business owners who made significant changes to their business models to attract more customers. We also recognized the importance of making our delivery and shipping service more convenient, so our e-commerce became very user friendly.”
The importance of local supply chains and strong community networks has never been greater as people restricted from long-distance travel recognize the value of small businesses operating in their home communities. For a homegrown operation like the Northern Superior Brewing Company, the co-dependence of local business and suppliers has been critical to survival.
“Now more than ever, those in our community recognize the importance of local business and what this does to drive the community,” said Zachary. “As a local business, we need to continue to not only provide a service to locals but to be there for the local businesses that support us.”
To deal with the unexpected shift in demand for their products, Northern Superior Brewing Company had to adjust its business model. That included launching a delivery service when COVID restrictions first came into effect. The service allowed the brewery to offer customers a more convenient and safe way to purchase its products. Partnering with local bars and restaurants to sell the brewery’s tall can products through take out has also been a boon for all businesses involved.
It’s said fortune favours the bold, and Northern Superior Brewing Company took the bold step to add two new brands since the beginning of the pandemic. These include Gitche Gumee, a Double IPA, and Northern Lights, an all-natural Light Pilsner. Both of these have been highly successful additions to Northern Superior Brewing’s roster of products, which Zachary says will continue to grow.
“We continue to move forward with our brew schedule. Blake Winter, our Head Brewer and Production Coordinator Mike Fiore will continue to get products kegged, canned and delivered, and the rest of the staff will continue to sell, deliver and promote our amazing lineup of products. It’s a northern thing.”
For more information, visit www.northernsuperior.org.
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