Denizens Brewing Co.
On March 15, the day before Maryland bars and restaurants shut down due to the pandemic, Denizens Brewing Co. launched its “beer mobile” home delivery service. “We saw the writing on the wall in February,” says Julie Verratti, co-owner of Denizens, which received permission for direct delivery as part of its original 2014 liquor license. At its peak—from March through May, before the brewery’s Silver Spring and Riverdale Park tap rooms reopened in early June—Denizens was doing up to 100 deliveries a day to customers in Montgomery County, Prince George’s County and Northwest D.C. And one of the drivers was none other than Verratti, who dropped off the craft brewery’s terrific beer and hard seltzer (as well as wine and cocktails) five days a week. “I’ve gone through a lot of books on Audible,” Verratti says of the hours spent in her car.
At the same time, patrons have gone through a lot of six-packs of Animal Hazy IPA and Blood Orange Hard Seltzer—two of the most popular orders—in addition to rotating styles of beer in growlers and pint bottles. Denizens offers gift deliveries with handwritten notes; sprinkles in extra treats for frequent customers; sends thank-you emails to newcomers; and added a collection of locally made foods, including chocolates, salad dressing and coffee, to its delivery menu. The dependable beer mobile—which guarantees same-day delivery by 7 p.m. for orders made by 11 a.m.—received a raft of kudos from customers, who get text messages when the driver is en route. With the cold weather upon us, Verratti predicts the beer mobile will be busy again—and she’ll be catching up on her books.