Letter to Customers
April 28, 2020
To Our Valued Community,
It has been 7 weeks since we closed our tap room to prevent the spread of COVID-19. And for six weeks now we have focused entirely on contactless local delivery of our beers. You are one of the people to keep our little brewery going, and for that we say THANK YOU!
We continue to keep a small group of staff fully employed, and while we all wait to see what the “new normal” will look like as the economy gradually reopens, we can assure you that free local delivery is here to stay. It just makes sense and allows for a safer, direct retail experience.
We do however, really miss our community. Beer has been produced for thousands of years for a few simple reasons. It tastes great, especially when made from high quality agricultural products. Beer is a natural agri-business, an important value-added product made with craft from the land and the work of our farmers. It is a celebration of the harvest and the bounty of the land. It is a testament to the human ability to create and to innovate in harmony with nature.
Secondly, beer has always been a social connector. Caffeine helps us focus and to be productive; beer helps us to settle, relax, enjoy the moment, enjoy out sensations, and to enjoy the company of others. The social role of the tavern has always been to bring people together, and to build community.
So how do we connect now? I’m fairly certain that when restaurants re-open they will look a lot different and will face new challenges. We know now that gathering a lot of people into small spaces creates risk. I’m sure we will be working with reduced occupancy. Restaurants have very high failure rates for a reason – margins are tight, food costs are high, and rents are challenging.
I’m hoping that the crisis of the pandemic is an opportunity for change. As economic stimuli start to trickle down, we all need to think about the world we want to return to and to sustain into the future. Climate change assures us there is no more business-as-usual. We need to innovate, adapt, and ensure that our social and personal investments go into the kind of green economy that not only lives in harmony with our ecology, but which truly benefits us all.
We believe we are part of that shift. When you buy beer from us you not only get a high-quality, relatively exclusive product made from love, heart work and courage, but you are supporting the change we need. A healthy future really does require vibrant, diverse, locally-based and small-scale businesses. Businesses in touch with the land and with community.
When you buy beer from us you are reducing your carbon foot-print. Our beer literally moves about 50 feet from the brewhouse to fermenters to brite tanks and then to our bottling station. And it’s bottled daily to ensure you get the best, freshest beer. All proceeds from your purchase stay in our local community.
We decided to focus entirely on free local contactless delivery because we believe in Kingston, and you have for close to 6 years believed in us. For us to continue, we will need your continued support. We are entirely dependent on local online sales. I believe that to be the way it ought to be – a community-based brewery reflecting and serving the people of this City. And making excellent beer.
It’s also been clear to us that a large number of our customers work in health care or are actively working at the front lines in other sectors. We thank you for your service.
Let’s be the change we want to see. I invite you to continue your important support of local breweries, and also local produce and food suppliers like Quattrochi’s, Tara Food and Limestone Organic Creamery. You can get amazing, locally-sourced beef delivered by Double Jay Farms, or through Pig & Olive. Knifey Spooney continues their amazing plant-based cuisine. You can order coffee for delivery through our friends at Northside Expresso. These are all people in our community doing important, amazing work. And many of our restaurant colleagues have pivoted to entirely take-out menus.
Thank you for being part of this movement. I truly hope you are keeping well, staying safe and staying home. This pandemic has reminded us what is important: our health, each other, and the social supports and health care system which we hold dear.
Stone City Ales