The following article by Andrew Webb of WVIR-TV NBC29 was originally published at nbc29.com.
The coronavirus pandemic forced the Charlottesville Ale Trail to lay low in 2020, but now the trail says it is full speed ahead going into 2021.
“We have just relaunched things for 2021 with brewery support that we’re excited about, including the club memberships,” Charlottesville Ale Trail Executive Director Todd Wickersty said.
The nonprofit is pushing its revitalized club membership program with the hopes of keeping breweries afloat.
“Breweries are obviously a great gathering places for families, for friends, coworkers and we haven’t been able to do a lot of that in 2020. We’re hopeful that with things like our club program we can generate some revenue to help with breweries during this difficult time,” Wickersty said.
The five breweries – Three Notch’d Craft Kitchen & Brewery, South Street Brewery, Rockfish Brewing Co., Random Row Brewing Co., Champion Brewing Company – rely on the Charlottesville community, and that will continue into the slow winter months.
“January is traditionally the slowest month,” Wickersty said. “I know that most people got as much as they can during the holidays to support local business by buying local. Let’s not forget about that as we move into 2021.”
Rockfish Brewing Co. Owner Peter McIndes has high aspirations for what the Ale Trail can be: “Bringing the community into the picture, letting them experience all the breweries what we can offer them, it’s just it’s a win-win,” he said.
As we move into 2021, the Ale Trail has the same mentality of helping grow the Charlottesville craft beer community.
“Breweries, just like every other local business here in Charlottesville, obviously have been suffering greatly,” Wickersty said. “The Ale Trail… we’re here to do whatever we can to help our local breweries on the trail.”
A link to the Charlottesville Ale Trail membership is available here.