ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — For the first time in awhile, there are a lot of smiles inside and outside the Dissent Craft Brewing Company.
The Pinellas County brewery was a recent hot spot stop during the celebratory Tampa Bay Beer Week, which has a very different look this year.
Dissent fans bought to-go beer in a makeshift doorway setup as a bartender filled cans with delicious delights.
“This is a blessing,” says owner Chris Price.
He is one of many small brewers throughout the Tampa Bay area struggling through this tough time.
Tampa Bay Beer Week is a nonprofit that usually heats up in March. This year was obviously different.
“Business just stopped,” says Chris Fairchild, Tampa Bay Beer Week’s executive director. “It was like hitting a brick wall.”
Thanks in part to the Redner Family Foundation, plus loving support from the community, the nonprofit is giving 20 local bars and breweries $1,000 to be directly dispersed to employees.
The establishments are hosting nightly events for the public. Some of the money raised will go back into the nonprofit’s fund to help other beer-making brethren.
Tampa Bay Beer Week is also accepting donations for its Relief Fund to help establishments affected by the pandemic.
“Every $1,000 raised means another business we get to assist,” says Fairchild.
There is also a special T-shirt sale raising funds for brewery employees.
For a schedule of upcoming Tampa Bay Beer Week events, visit www.facebook.com/TampaBayBeerWeek/.