How much are you craving a locally-made IPA or Hefeweizen right now? Enough to put on a ski parka and snow boots or maybe even your hockey uniform? That’s the challenge that a Vienna brewery is making this winter with their grassroots campaign.
Caboose Brewing Company & Tavern, the farm-to-table restaurant and craft brewery with locations in the Town of Vienna and Fairfax, recently launched #bundleup, a winter initiative to encourage guests to wear their puffy coats, fuzzy boots, faux fur Cossack-style hats and anything else they might need to stay warm outside. It’s all designed to encourage visitors to continue to support their local businesses during COVID-19, even during a frigid DMV winter.
“This grew out of our own eagerness to visit other restaurants and breweries,” says owner Jennifer McLaughlin. “As temps began dropping a month or so ago, we joked that we will need to bundle up to sit outside, and realized that we were onto something that could bring in revenue and save us the huge costs we were looking at to winterize our outdoor spaces.”
While equipment for outdoor dining like heaters and tents can be expensive, difficult to find and require lots of space, it’s easier to root through your closet for toasty attire and grab a blanket or throw from the couch. “Without safe, affordable options to service guests, many independent restaurants may not survive the winter,” McLaughlin says. “We found that by making dining outdoors fun and encouraging creativity through the #bundleup campaign, guests were excited to safely support small businesses in their community.”
She encourages people to wear their warmest boots and bring foot and hand warmers, as feet get cold fast and can be especially uncomfortable. Long jackets are preferable so you aren’t sitting directly on the chair–one savvy guest even brought a sleeping bag.
Any area brewery, restaurant or other business is encouraged to join the #bundleup campaign. Lake Anne Brewery, Old Ox Brewing, and Bike Lane Brewing have joined Caboose for the #bundleupbikeride promotion: arrive by bicycle at any location, buy a beer or something else, collect a stamp at each and bring the completed card to the participating brewery of your choice for a free gift.
Caboose has some hot beverages on the menu, and is also brewing and selling #bundleup Wee Heavy, a collaboration Scotch Ale, at their locations and to other local restaurants. For more information on #bundleup, visit Caboose’s website.
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