Jesse Sensenig has done a lot to keep his brewery open and safe during these challenging times. It is not just for his own sake, but for his employees who rely on the work and the customers who love their beer and community. His passion for brewing beers serves his neighborhood and creates community.
“My wife and I have been extremely grateful that the community has embraced this place," he says. "We've had to be pretty strict on the mask rules and putting it over the nose, but that's just part of our responsibility to the community to help keep people as safe as possible.”
(Jesse walks into the Brewery)
Jesse Sensenig: Yeah, I would say the pandemic, COVID, it's been sort of a moral dilemma. We got to keep cash flow going, we've got 35 employees now relying on this job to sustain their life. So it's really been a fine balance of trying to get that cash flow in as a business owner and keep all the jobs here.
(Jesse brewing a new batch of beer)
Here's the yeast we're going to be using for this batch, Sundew, out of Chicago. I'm going in with 163 gallons. I think we've done around 150 different beers in the last six years.
(Jesse showcase the outdoor group bubble seating)
Adapting through the pandemic, we're limited to seating in here down to less than 50% right now between the two rooms, just with what we feel comfortable with with the spacing. So we needed to help get some more table seating and thought this was a unique way to do it. But anyway, we got eight of them, thinking it would be good for people in your bubble. We are airing them out, we're sanitizing them, making sure they're safe for the next group.
(Stickers of different breweries on a fridge)
Producer: Hey, aren't these all like your rivals?
Jesse: Oh, no — a lot of them are friends or lots of people I look up to and drink a lot of their beer too and enjoy it.
(Jesse cleaning the brewery)
They say 80% of a brewer's job is cleaning. You make a mess and clean three of them.
Producer: What's that smell like?
Jesse: What's it smell like? The wet grain and sort of smells a little farm-like, it's maybe a little like a wet dog. Smells good. I love it.
My wife and I have been extremely grateful that the community's embraced this place. We've had to be pretty strict on the mask rules and putting it over the nose but that's just part of, I think, our responsibility to the community to help keep people as safe as possible.
That should be good.