As states begin to reopen bars, taprooms and restaurants in the wake of the COVID-19 shutdown, positive cases continue to rise in many states. In preparation for that reality, Artisanal Brewing Ventures (ABV), the owner of nine taprooms, to re-examine all aspects of its business in order to be able to better serve its guests once it was allowed to reopen. The Charlotte-based ABV is a craft beverage platform that includes Victory Brewing Company, Southern Tier Brewing Company, Sixpoint Brewery, and Bold Rock Hard Cider. Each of the ABV taprooms will be re-opening following all the requisite guidelines laid out by the CDC and state government. It has also reinvented its menu to allow for maximum social distancing by the kitchen staff as well as how food and drinks are served to minimize lines and the number of contacts by its staff. But ABV is looking to do more.
“The goal is to come back from this challenge stronger than ever. We started by asking our customers what they wanted or needed to feel comfortable and safe. We received over 7,000 responses to the survey and it guided us in making our choices about safety, operational process, and communication,” said John Coleman, CEO of Artisanal Brewing Ventures.
“We have a built-in advantage in consumers’ minds due to the large overall footprint and ample outdoor seating in most of our locations. But we needed to do something inside our space, and we didn’t feel like distancing our tables, wearing masks and sanitizing surfaces was enough. Our customer survey told us we needed to do more to make people feel safe. So, we looked at adding new technology to our HVAC system that cleans the air, deactivates viruses and other pathogens and provides an additional layer of protection,” continued Coleman.
Artisanal Brewing Ventures partnered with Charlotte-based Global Plasma Solutions (GPS), a leading manufacturer of air quality solutions. ABV is installing the GPS Needlepoint Bipolar Ionization (NPBI) technology throughout its breweries, taprooms and office spaces. The NBPI products purify the air by eliminating airborne particulates, odors, and pathogens. The system emits a high volume of ions that steal away hydrogen from the pathogens, driving them out of the air space, leaving clean, healthy indoor air. GPS is installed in more than 150,000 locations worldwide, including Duke University Medical Center and Charlotte Douglas Airport. “Facilities around the world are utilizing NPBI technology to enhance indoor air quality. It is exciting to be a part of ABV’s reopening strategy. It is obvious their management team is doing what it takes to make their taproom a safe, healthy destination for customers who are ready to get back out and socialize safely,” said Scott Gugenheim, Executive Vice President of Sales at Global Plasma Solutions.
“Sometimes in crisis, there is opportunity. We tried to use this time as an opportunity to raise our game and to craft a better experience for our guests and, at the same time, create a safer working environment for our staff. This has been a trying time for everyone. When our customers decide it’s time for them to come back out, we want to be there to deliver for them and make them feel like they are safe here with us.” said Coleman.
All nine ABV locations will have the units installed by the end of the month and are currently in various stages of re-opening.