Brewery expands to groceries

Brewery expands to groceries

Kenai River Brewing is partnering with Sysco to pass on pantry items directly to customers.

Kenai River Brewing Company has launched a grocery service to help community members practice social-distance shopping.

The brewing company is partnering with their food wholesaler, Sysco, to pass on pantry items directly to brewery customers. Kenai River Brewing’s owner, Doug Hogue, said they hope the new service will offer residents another option for no-touch grocery services.

On Monday, the brewery launched the service with a new website, www.krbcgrocery.com, where customers can see products, put them in a shopping cart and pay for their orders. Customers can then pick up their groceries on Fridays from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the brewery, where Hogue and his employees will bring the groceries out to the customer’s car.

The virtual grocery store has a handful of pantry items, like flour, beans, rice, pasta, bread, butter, cheese, milk and eggs. Customers can purchase different kinds of meats and produce boxes. The store is also carrying snacks and other miscellaneous items, like Spam, chips, trail mix, peanut butter and salsa. Residents are also able to purchase nitrile gloves, toilet paper and paper towels.

Selling groceries is a new venture for the brewing company, which would normally be serving beer and food to dine-in customers. Hogue said he’s had some challenges in shifting how his business operates with the statewide closure of dine-in service and other social-distancing orders from the governor’s office. Hogue credits his staff with making the transition possible. He said one of his brewers, Ben Weagraff, worked “tirelessly” to get the grocery store project up and running this week, by creating a website that would be easy for people to use.

Every week, Sysco will bring products to Kenai River Brewing from their warehouse and employees will organize and sort the groceries for each order to be distributed every Friday.

Since launching the service on Monday, Hogue said the brewery has received a “really good and positive” response from the community. The company is fulfilling 62 grocery orders this week, with most of the orders consisting of baking products and other dry goods.

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