[gtx_gallery]As COVID-19 preventive measures sweep through the area, few businesses are suffering as much as those in the food and beverage industry. Take-out, curbside pick-up and delivery practices have sprouted up, but for consumers interested in supporting local, the errand-running aspect isn’t all that convenient—nor does it necessarily support social distancing and self-quarantine. Fortunately, the folks at Diametric Brewing Company (formerly New Axiom Brewing) in Lee’s Summit have come up with a creative solution.
Together We Can on Saturday, March 21 was designed to allow people to pick up multiple brewery to-go options in one location.
“We started offering pick-up for orders, but then I was hearing from customers, like: ‘Man, this is cool, but now I’ve got to go over here and over there,’” says Mac Lamken, co-founder of Diametric Brewing. “And I thought, screw it, why not put it all in one spot?”
On Saturday, from noon to 5 pm, Diametric is hosting a beer to-go pop-up featuring offerings from nine breweries: Their own supply, of course, plus Crane Brewing Co., Grains and Taps Brewery, East Forty Brewing, Fringe Beerworks, 3 Trails Brewing, Smoke Brewing Co., Apex Aleworks and Wind Shift Brewing. While taproom doors will be closed to the public, Diametric’s taproom manager will be stationed at the main entrance of the facility and will be ringing in sales. Folks will then pull around to the rear entrance, where volunteer workers will run fulfilled orders out to vehicles.
Lamken says people should think of the event as a pop-up drive-through – not as a tailgating event or a party. “The idea is for people to pull in, get beer and go,” he says. “We’re urging people to stay in their car. You’ll order like you would at a drive-through, pull around, pop your trunk and go.”
A beer menu will be posted outside the brewery, and payment will be accepted by credit card only. There will be a cash tip jar that will be divided at the end of the day, all of which will go to brewery staff members. Lamken hopes this will be the first in a series of Saturday drive-through beer pop-ups.
“I wanted to keep it to eastern Jackson County for the first one—Blue Springs, Independence, Lee’s Summit and Raytown—but we know everyone is struggling, so we wanted to try and get something rolling,” Lamken says. “The goal is to see how this goes and iron out the kinks. Next weekend, we’re opening it up to Kansas City and St. Joseph. Hopefully, next weekend will be twice as big. We’re going to try and run this event as long as we’re on lockdown.”
As I spoke with Lamken about the logistics of this event, the stress was evident in his voice. We talked on Thursday evening, after he’d spent the day canning beer in preparation for Saturday. Before we got off the phone, I wanted to know how he was feeling. He laughed a little, then sighed.
“If you’re in the industry and you call someone from another brewery, the first question is, ‘Hey, how are you hanging in there?’” he says. “It’s hard, it throws a lot of things up in the air. We’re an eighteen-month old brewery, and honestly, we’re not a pandemic-proof brewery. But Devin [Glaser, Diametric co-founder] said it best the other day: ‘This is the ultimate test, this is the shit show – and if you can survive this, you’re probably gonna be all right.”
Diametric Brewing is located at 949 NE Columbus St., Lee’s Summit, Mo. For more information about Together We Can, takes place from noon to 5 pm on Saturday, March 21, see the Facebook invite. A menu of available offerings will be added to the invite at some point on Friday so that attendees will know what to expect. For all other inquiries, email email@example.com.