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Local Brewery Akronym Expands Services to Weather Pandemic

a photo of the exterior of Akronym Brewing
Akronym Brewing, located downtown at Market and High Streets, says its spacious location has been helpful for social distancing.

Craft beer has been a growing part of Ohio’s economy, but the pandemic struck bars and restaurants hard.

Some of Akron’s largest craft brewers have weathered the situation well, and how they’ve done it may be a model for others. 

Akronym Brewery in Akron found a way to expand its services during the pandemic. General Manager Joey Greising said Akronym started offering food on its menu and added three more employees because of increased business.

He said the brewery's location downtown also gives it space to accommodate customers since reopening and that’s been key for business.

“I think that’s what makes people comfortable at these places. If you have a brewery that’s really tight, it’s going to be tough because you can’t have that many people in there,” he said.

In a survey commissioned by the Ohio Craft Brewers Association, customers said they’re most likely to go to places that sanitize between visitors, offer outdoor seating, and space accordingly for social distancing.

Despite the brewery's success, Greising said people working from home has changed who is coming into the brewery.

Akronym's General manager Joey Greising: Working from home changes the brewery's crowd.

“People are working from home so we lose the Akron Public School building, which is right by us, a lot of office buildings," he said. "So those people aren’t going to work. So they’re not getting off work in downtown and stopping. They’re already at home.”

A new delivery service and a new food menu has helped offset the impact of fewer customers at the brewery.

Sean Fitzgerald is a senior journalism major at Kent State University. Sean has been with Black Squirrel Radio, Kent State's student-run radio station since the spring of 2018 as a sports show host and co-host, a web article contributor and now serves as the sports department director for the station. Sean hopes to pursue a career in sports journalism once he finishes school.