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Breweries impacting local economy

Updated: Jun. 10, 2021 at 6:16 PM CDT
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - The U.S. beer industry supports more than 18,000 good-paying jobs in Kentucky and contributes more than two billion to the state’s economy.

“We’ve got about 80 kegs in the walk-in. our system we brew eight barrels around 240 gallons at a time,” said Gasper Brewing owner Isaiah King.

Taprooms are filling up across Kentucky, but that wasn’t the case last spring when taprooms closed their doors due to COVID-19.

Gasper Brewing in Bowling Green says they’ve seen an uptick in customers since the mask mandate was lifted.

“Business has definitely been steady. We’ve actually seen an uptick in the number of customers that we have coming in with the end of the mask mandate, more people getting vaccinated. People are really ready to get out and experience life again, experience socializing,” King said.

Now that the doors are open, Gasper is seeing its sales increase with support from locals.

“Each night has its regular crowd of locals. I can kind of predict who is going to be here each night of the week and our local influence and our local reception is definitely increasing as well,“ King said.

During the beginning of the pandemic, there were shifts in alcohol sales for people who were able to distribute to the liquor stores. The production side fairing well compared to the microbreweries where sales mainly come from the taproom.

”That’s one of the reasons for the passage of SB15 to allow the small, independent microbreweries to be able to self distribute to bars and liquor stores and that’s really going to help us out,” King said

Gasper has implemented new things throughout the week to increase crowd numbers while also giving back to the community.

“Tuesday night we have the disc golf putting league. We have about 30 people playing in a putting competition. Wednesday we have started our karma cookout, in which we provide the food and ask for a suggested contribution. Everything above what it costs us to prepare the meal goes to feed the homeless,” King said. “Thursday nights we have trivia and that’s been a smash hit. We’ve got a really good local MC that hosts that. Also, with the addition of food trucks on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday we’ve seen a lot of people come to eat and stick around for a beer or vice versa.”

Gasper brewing says if it weren’t for community support, things for them would have been a lot more difficult.

Gasper is open from 3:00-10:00 p.m. Tuesday through Wednesday and until 11:00 Thursday through Saturday.

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