So, you want beer, but because of the threat of novel coronavirus COVID-19, you don't want to head back to the supermarket or local alcohol emporium. There is an answer.
Maybe you've heard of HopDrop, a courier service of sorts that delivers some of the area's hottest beers fresh to the doors of customers across the region. Right now, it's expanding its efforts to work with as many breweries as it can handle.
"When we saw all this happening, we just wanted to reach out and make sure every brewery is taken care of," said Mike Francis, co-founder of HopDrop. "Every brewery that wants to get on board with us—we're working hard to do that."
For the customer, HopDrop works like you're ordering items online: You visit the website, add to your cart, pay, then wait for a package to arrive. You can also sign up for HopDrop's Draft Wagon, a monthly or annual membership tier that waives delivery fees. With a Draft Wagon membership, you get access to rare and special-release beers from some of the area's most popular spots, including B-52 Brewing Co. in Conroe, Ingenious Brewing Co. in Humble, and Baa Baa Brewhouse in Brookshire.
Regularly, HopDrop works with about 10 local breweries, as that's what it can manage with its staff. It also partners with brewpubs Growler USA and Craft Beer Cellar, which gives consumers access to harder-to-get beers from outside of Houston and Texas. But as the potential spread of COVID-19 cripples the Houston food and beverage industry, HopDrop is opening its doors to other breweries across the area. You'll see offerings from newbie Local Group Brewing Co., 8th Wonder Brewery, and Southern Yankee Beer Co., among others.
Plus, beer lovers can offer a virtual tip to their favorite brewery on HopDrop. This individual item goes 100 percent to the brewery.
"The breweries have become a place for community and family, so the least we can do is help support them as this time is tough for everybody," Francis said.
He added that HopDrop is ramping up sanitation procedures, including mandatory glove wearing, so customers can ensure the product that arrives at their door is safe and fresh. And what's better than a safe and fresh local beer at home?