American breweries are reeling from the impact of COVID-19. With bars, taprooms and restaurants closed brewers across the nation brewers have had to shuffle business models and find new ways to get their beers to fans or die.
But from desperation, sometimes comes inspiration…
Now a brewer and his buddy have come up with Biermi (read: BEER-ME) a free internet platform that allows brewers across the nation to sell directly to fans…and fans the ability to set up direct beer delivery from the safety of their homes.
And in addition to taking orders, the website optimizes delivery routes for vendors and sends real-time notifications to beer-loving customers so that they can be ready at the door with identification when the goods arrive.
Pure genius! And did we mention it’s free for both brewers and shut-in beer lovers to use?
The website is the brainchild of Brendan O’Leary, co-owner of True Respite Brewing Company in Rockville, Md., and his friend, Bryan O’Connor, a computer software designer from Philadelphia.
In just two months Biermi has attracted 130 breweries, wineries and cideries around the country and generated more than 2 million dollars in sales.
“This has just been incredible,” O’Connor told WAMU, “It started from zero, and it’s just been this 45-degree line that’s going up as far as our analytics are concerned.”
“It’s something that you see on TV shows like Silicon Valley and you read about, but you never really think it’s gonna happen to your product. The amount of traffic on the platform has been a little bit overwhelming. It’s really cool to go back and look at some of our analytics and just watch the growth. It’s everything that you sort of dream of in the startup world.”
Biermi launched on March 16 when Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan relaxed regulations allowing the state breweries to sell directly to consumers, and True Respite’s O’Leary, was already ahead of the curve and ready to go.
Realizing the advantageousness of the platform they’d created O’Leary and O’Connor moved to open it up the nation’s brewers (and its fans, of course).
“We realized quickly this was a super powerful tool, and it felt dirty just having it available for us,” O’Leary told the Baltimore Business Journal. Our mission through all of this is just to get our fellow brewers and craft makers through the crisis.”