A Message From Our CEO and Co-Founder, Dan Kenary
March 26, 2020
To our friends, partners, fans, and family,
When the news about COVID-19 first broke, I don’t think any of us expected it to have the level of impact or significance that it currently does. When we first founded Harpoon in 1986, we did it with one mission: make great beers to bring people together. Because of the current crisis, it’s harder now than ever to achieve that goal.
We’re facing our greatest challenge yet, and what makes matters so much worse is that it’s not contained to just our brewery walls. While we’ve had to adjust the business model at our retail locations to pick up and delivery, we’ve watched as all of our on-premise accounts have shut their doors as well— some that have poured our beer for over 30 years. While the health and safety of our community should remain everyone’s top priority, it is awfully tough knowing that a number of those bars and restaurants won’t be able to open back up.
Internally, we’ve had to make some incredibly difficult decisions as well. In light of on-premise consumption restrictions in both MA and VT we’ve had to furlough our part-time staff, with the plan to bring everyone back to their regular hours once we’re safe to re-open. We’ve also had to transition some of our full-time employees into our WorkShare program. Both our part time and full-time employees will retain their full benefits. Thankfully, none of these staffing changes are permanent, but that doesn’t make the individual conversations any less heart-wrenching.
In addition, we’ve had countless individuals (myself included) voluntarily cut their pay to help maintain our staffing while so much of our business is on hold. It’s an absolute testament to the culture of employee-ownership to see so many rallying behind our shared cause. We want our family to be stronger than ever on the other side of this, and everyone is working around the clock to achieve that.
We know there will be many more beers poured in our Beer Hall, dinners had at The Riverbend Taps, charity fundraisers held in our Tasting Room, and memories made at our festivals. There will be plenty of concerts at The Pavilion, games at The Garden, after-work beers at The Crab, and pints at The Sevens. There will be gatherings of all sizes throughout New England, and it will feel normal again to meet with friends for some beers. For now though, it’s on all of us to stay safe, and do as much as we can to keep our community going.
If you’re worried about your favorite bar or restaurant and whether they’ll be able to re-open, please do what you can to get takeout or buy gift cards and merchandise— it could make a world of difference for an industry that plays such a vital role for all of us. If you need some recommendations, we have compiled a list of Harpoon accounts in the state of MA offering pick-up or delivery.
For those that have continued to support us and the rest of the brewing community during these tough times, I cannot thank you enough. We look forward to having a beer with all of you again soon.
Co-Founder & CEO of the Mass. Bay Brewing Company