Empty chairs at empty tables. Lively spaces typically rich with community and delicious food, drink, and music, sit silent and bare.
BC’s tourism and hospitality businesses have been hit hard by COVID 19 and we felt like we had to find ways to help our fellow businesses and local hospitality workers in critical need of short-term financial assistance.
This week, Merridale’s Hops for Hope cider will hit liquor store shelves on Vancouver Island and throughout the Lower Mainland. Proceeds from this special cider release will be donated to the Vancouver Food + Beverage Community Relief Fund.
Like most of BC’s pubs, restaurants, and bars, our Eatery has been closed for everything except take-out since mid-March. We know how hard COVID-19 has been on our own hospitality workers. We have an eatery ourselves, and it’s been devastating, so we wanted to do something to support the people who have been supporting us and our products for so many years. We want to send the message that we are thinking about them, we miss them and we’re going to get through this together.
In 2019, BC’s tourism industry accounted for $21.5 billion in combined revenue and employed 166,000 people. Small hospitality businesses are an important part of that industry and many do not have the cashflow to sustain a long-term closure. Many businesses will close their doors for good and many workers will not have jobs to go back to.
We know how to make cider and spirits, so we decided to rebrand our popular Mo’Moro cider with a more appropriate name for what we wanted to accomplish. Where did the name come from? With the hope of making a difference, it’s a refreshing dry-hopped blood orange cider. It’s perfect for enjoying on your patio… by yourself… for now.
We’ve chosen the Vancouver Food + Beverage Community Relief Fund, because it is local and able to distribute funds to the hospitality workers in the Lower Mainland and on Vancouver Island quickly.
We want to thank others that have helped with this special release – First, Maestro Graphics for providing labels, and second Container World, our distributor on the lower mainland for delivering cases to for free. Also, a big shout out to local musician, Dylan Stone, for sharing a song of hope to promote this initiative. Dylan, like so many other artists, has suffered from cancellations of events, tours and local performances.
Dylan’s band, The Unfaithful Servants, were recently nominated for a 2020 Canadian Folk Music Award for New Group of the year. “I would rather be out on the road for my spring tour right now, but we are all having to make sacrifices,” said Stone. “And I’m thankful to Merridale for the opportunity to perform and do what I love.”
We are very grateful for his performance and thankful to our suppliers for supporting this cause. To support local business and local workers, as well as enjoy a delicious drink, there are many places you can pick up our “Hops for Hope”. Go to www.merridale.ca for a list of retailers’ locations. Or visit us at the Merridale’s farm 7 days a week from 11 to 5 and pick-up “Merridale To Go” meals plus the full line of Merridale spirits and ciders which are available individually and by case discounts.