Curbside beer: How local brewery fights to pay laid-off bartenders

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Coronavirus has halted restaurants, bars, breweries and wineries, to the extent that many owners had to cut employees from the payroll.

The new orders sanctioned by Gov. Kay Ivey and the Alabama Department of Public Health has affected Grayson “Bear” Small, the general manager of Ghost Train Brewing Co.

“I was up all night the night before and I was literally in tears when I had to tell them,” Small said. “Just to see the look in their eyes was as disheartening as anything I’ve ever been a part of.”

In a last-ditch effort to keep their lights on, Small and his remaining employees found their glimmer of hope: selling beer curbside.

On the table right outside their location on 3rd Ave South, they have a booth where customers can simply pull up and buy beer at prices low enough to make people double-take.

“We are discounting everything you can buy out here in the hopes that people will at least make up part of the difference in a tip to the bartenders and people have been more gracious than I ever could’ve imagined,” Small said.

In fact, at the rate people are coming, Small says their furloughed bartenders will see little to no decrease in what they’re making from when they were still on the payroll.

Ghost Train Brewing Co. is currently offering curbside beer pickup from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. daily.


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