It's been 2 months since the partial lockdown was brought into effect, also known as 'Movement Control Order' due to Covid-19. Time's are tough for the craft beer industry as a whole, with breweries facing the effects of slow production, lack of resources, dwindling sales, oversupply of beers, and having to find new channels for distribution.
The beer industry in Malaysia was also hit badly, as bars/pubs were not allowed to operate, and large macrobreweries such as Heineken and Carlsberg were not able to continue brewing. Many local bars have had to bear the brunt of the lockdown and pray for better times to come. What's notable, though, is how the craft beer industry in Malaysia has been facing the crisis head on, spearheading new and innovative ways of staying afloat, and even, daresay, growing the market.
With the majority of craft beer distributors hopping onboard the online sales platform armed with attractive selling points such as competitive pricing, free delivery, same day delivery and easy communication channels, the market is still able to access good craft beer easily. Naturally, more craft beer lovers are finding it easier to order online rather than going to a physical shop as well.
There's also plenty of innovation during these times with new and novel experiences for craft beer drinkers. Craft beer local suppliers now sell their draft beers by the bottle, or with mini kegs that are filled with draft beers. What's more, the industry is growing as more and more people are learning about craft beer thanks to increased efforts in social media marketing, advertising, and live video streaming.
It is the tenacity and the sheer determination to not just survive, but thrive in such questionable situations, that gets the craft beer industry moving through these difficult times.
The creativity and relentlessness by the craft beer players in facing this crisis is reflective of the spirit of craft beer.
It's not about adapting, its about challenging the 'new norm' and saying fuck it, it's time to get creative!