The owner of Minnesota craft beer super-giant Surly Brewing Co. Omar Ansari Thursday extended his thanks and encouragement to Minnesotans for supporting local during the COVID-19 crisis in Minnesota.

In a note from Surly Brewing, Omar shares how Surly -- one of the largest breweries and restaurants in Minnesota -- is adapting to and yet still hurting from the current situation:

We’re adapting our business to this new landscape, while being mindful of the safety and wellbeing of our employees and customers. The closure of our own hospitality operations—the beer hall at our Destination Brewery, Surly Pizza Upstairs and Scheid Hall event center—coupled with the loss of our partners in the bar, restaurant, and entertainment industries has been a huge change. The undeniable truth is that this crisis has taken a massive toll on our business, and we don’t yet know what the long-term effects will be once the worst of this is behind us.

Despite the bleak situation and difficult consequences Surly and so many other Minnesota business are facing, Omar remains hopeful for the local craft beer industry:

But there is hope. [...] The people of Surly Nation helped us change the law in 2011 and paved the way for breweries to open their own taprooms. This very same craft beer community is keeping Surly and the craft beer industry alive, proving now more than ever, we are in this together.

Omar remains hopeful for other Minnesota businesses, too, encouraging Minnesotans to continue supporting the local businesses of friends, neighbors and communities:

By supporting these local retailers—your neighborhood restaurant, brewery, or liquor store—you’re directly supporting your neighbors, friends, and community. These dollars are more important now than ever, and for many of us, it could mean the difference between surviving this crisis and closing shop forever. By choosing local, you’re investing in the future you want to see.

"When all of this is over," Omar concludes, "and we’re out of the collective woods, we hope to raise a toast of Minnesota beer together in celebration of making it through to better days." Whether you drink beer or not, support our local businesses by shopping local at the Value Connection.

You can read the full note from Omar, owner of Surly Brewing Co., here.

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