February 23rd, 2021
Industry Snapshot with Sean Sullivan, Executive Director, Maine Brewers’ Guild
Sean Sullivan is one of the most knowledgable people in Maine’s craft beer industry. He’s the Executive Director of Maine Brewers’ Guild, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and protecting the craft beer industry in Maine. Their mission is to keep Maine in the forefront of the craft beer revolution by offering high quality and creative diversity for the customer.
It doesn’t even need to be said that Maine’s economy has gone through a lot in 2020 and the collective hope is that things will eventually get better as we are more informed and better equipped, particularly if there is a resurgence in COVID-19 cases heading into the winter.
The good news is that Governor Mills announced that starting October 13 Maine has now entered Stage 4 of the Plan To Restart Maine’s Economy. Stage 4 increases limits on indoor seating to 50 percent capacity of permitted occupancy, or 100 people – whichever is fewer. Stage 4 also anticipates a reopening date for indoor service for bars and tasting rooms of Monday, November 2, 2020. To reopen for indoor service, these establishments must abide by the newly-posted COVID-19 Prevention Checklist for seated food and drink service, which is an update to the restaurant checklist. This now eases a few of the challenges that some breweries were having of not being able to visit indoor tasting rooms the next several months ahead.
“Maine brewers and beer fans have really helped us achieve our goal of making our state a world-class destination for craft beer, and that has positioned us well to weather the downturn,” said Sullivan. “At the same time, brewers have had to rethink how they get their beer to market and have had to shutter so many of the welcoming spaces that bring our community together and serve as the core of most Maine breweries businesses. As we look ahead, we’re focusing on maintaining that collaborative spirit that has attracted so many to our industry and preparing to safely welcome back customers to tasting rooms.”
Asked what keeps his spirits up during these times, he said, “Going for a run with a podcast that has nothing to do with current events.”
Check out more of our Industry Snapshots on the craft brew, distilling and Maine outdoor industries as we #keepourspiritsupmaine