This past year was truly one for the history books! Who knew we would all collectively go through the huge challenges of a global pandemic together. Thankfully, we’ve never felt more lucky to call the Yukon home!
Still, it has been hard on all of us, many have struggled and some more than others. We’ve all experienced a bit of a roller coaster and let us tell you, owning and running a business sure adds another level to things.
2020 was the year nearly everything was canceled. It started with the Arctic Winter Games that were to be held in Whitehorse, then the Yukon Comedy Festival, then our 5th Anniversary Celebration and the Haines Beer Festival (we miss you Haines). Several brewery collaborations were put on hold, everyones' favourite music festivals were canceled and our local Yukon Craft Beer Festival was canceled as well.
But despite the pandemic, there were many highlights and milestones in 2020 for Winterlong:
- We completed our first International Women’s Collaboration Brew Day – we brewed our Witch Craft IPA, while news of the Arctic Winter Games cancellation came.
- We purchased and installed a 73.9 kW solar system on our roof with the help of SOLVEST.
- We actually hired more staff, including brewers and tasting room ambassadors, to keep up with beer demand and extra cleaning protocols.
- We opened a temporary summer beer garden and expanded our indoor Tasting Room, doubling the size to allow for physical distancing.
- We increased our brewing capacity with the addition of three more 21 bbl fermenters and a brite tank.
- We did a special shipment of beer to BC, Alberta and Manitoba.
- All in all, we brewed 35% more beer (nearly 2,000 hL)!
We are proud to say we never once turned down the chance to support a local cause in 2020. More than ever, it was (and is) important for us to support our local community as much as they support us. Obviously we couldn't have gotten through the last year without our community and amazing staff!
We don’t want to get too ahead of ourselves for 2021, but we can say that the challenges in 2020 have made us all stronger, and we look forward to brewing up a storm as always.