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Illinois breweries fight for permanent home delivery

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill.- One of Gov. J.B. Pritzker's first executive orders of the pandemic granted Illinois breweries the option to deliver right to your door. Now with new legislation, a local brewer group is hoping to make that change permanent.

The proposed bill would grant breweries permission to ship beer to your home as well as sell their products at local retail and grocery stores.

Brent Schwoerer has run the Engrained brewery in Springfield, Illinois for nearly eight years. He said being able to deliver during the pandemic has helped him grow his business even more. Now he's hoping this legislation passes in order to help other growing breweries.

"It's taken me that long to get to this point," said Schwoerer. "If I had more flexibility, if the laws provided more flexibility, I could have been doing this sooner."

Schwoerer also emphasized that brewers must adapt to fulfill their consumers wants.

"Let's just be honest, the world changed and the convenience that the consumer expects and wants has changed with it," said Schwoerer. "People want to order stuff online and have it show up at their doorstep. That's just the reality of things."

A safe way to transport alcohol

Meanwhile, Executive Director for the Illinois Craft Brewers Guild Danielle D'Alessandro explained that COVID-19 has forced the industry to adapt.

"You don't need people to drive to your location, it's a very safe way to transport alcohol," said D'Alessandro. "So these would be critical lifelines for a lot of our brewers."

If this proposal passes through the legislature, you will be able to pick up your favorite local beer on your next trip to the grocery store.

"We have data right now that shows about 50% of consumers are still not comfortable returning to on premise and we don't know, depending on how quick the vaccination roll-out happens and when we as a state can move to Phase 5 and start doing gatherings again."

At this point, brewers continue to see the glass half full. However, they hope these changes will be implemented to help the struggling industry.

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Ali Rasper

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