Danielle Baerwald, the owner of Erv's Mug in Oak Creek, admits she cried a little when Beer Capitol, a distributor she works with, offered to buy back the unused cases and untapped kegs that she had in the bar, about $1,300 worth.
The timing was spectacular: She had just closed down.
On St. Patrick's Day she offered carryout only, expecting up to 50 orders of corned beef and cabbage as in years past. She sold 20 orders.
"The logistics didn't work," Baerwald said, and she had to let many of her 37 employees go.
Dan Graziano, vice president of sales and marketing at Beer Capitol, said the company wanted to make sure of two things: that they were taking care of their customers who support the brand, and that if and when things return to normal, the beer they serve is fresh.
At This Is It, 418 E. Wells St., the offer from Beer Capitol worked out to several thousand dollars of inventory credits, said owner George Schneider. He's still looking for creative ways to help his 24 employees, but this was a shot in the arm.
Schneider and This Is It found one other way to carry on. Schneider is bringing his regular drag shows to the public virtually at twitch.tv/thisisit. He won't sell much beer, wine or cocktails but his army of five performers will be able to get tips online. Shows are at 9 p.m. each Wednesday and Friday.