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Wisconsin breweries still tapping beer amid pandemic; 'No one was prepared for anything like this'

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Wisconsin brewery taprooms have now been closed for weeks, making business tough for some beer producers.

"No one was prepared for anything like this," Kevin Bridleman with R’Noggin Brewing Co. in Kenosha, said.

All Wisconsin tap rooms had to close under the Stay at Home order.

"It’s been really difficult," Angie Molina, Racine Brewing Co. Co-Owner, said. "The whole change has greatly reduced our normal revenue.”

An online petition is encouraging state lawmakers to reconsider a bill that would allow breweries to deliver to customers. 

"We would love to be able to make home delivery to our customers, especially customers who are feeling better staying at home we’d love to be able to accommodate them,” Molina said.

In the meantime breweries are getting creative selling their beer.

R’Noggin and Racine Brewing Co., along with several others, are offering pick-up orders.

"We’re all waiting for the day that we can just tap a beer and drink it together,” Bridleman said.

Racine Brewing Co. is also hosting virtual happy-hours to connect with customers and offering raffle prizes for those who purchase their beer.

Eagle Park Brewing Company in Milwaukee is hosting beer drive-thrus where they are selling both beer and home-made sanitizer.

This weekend they will be offering the beer pick-up line at both their Milwaukee and new Muskego locations.

"You just drive up, someone will come out with a handheld POS, you order what you want, they run back inside, get it, swipe it, someone loads it in the back of your trunk, and off you go,” Max Borgardt, Eagle Park Brewing Company President, said.

You can call ahead to the Milwaukee Eagle Park location to reserve your order.

Despite the challenging times, brewery owners have faith in Wisconsin beer drinkers.

"People in Wisconsin they’re not going to stop drinking beer, that’s what our state loves,” Borgardt said. “I think it’s a good thing for the community especially if you’re stuck at home to go out for a drive, grab a 4-pack, and we’re making it as easy as possible for everyone.”

CBS 58 compiled a list of breweries, bars and restaurants in southeast Wisconsin offering curbside, to-go and delivery service until further notice. CLICK HERE to see the full list or add your business by filling out the online form. 

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