Lifeswork: Two Brothers Brewery
Jason Ebel started Two Brothers Brewing Company in Warrenville with his brother Jim, and 23 years later, the family-run business employs 300 people.
"It's great to be able to take our passion and turn it into a business that provides employment and services for our community," Ebel said.
The COVID-19 pandemic has presented some challenging problems for everyone, but Jason said his company is finding ways to adapt.
As the spread of the virus worsened in March, the company was contacted by the Department of Homeland Security and asked to provide hand sanitizer.
That helped the business and kept the employees working. And, it would provide a much-needed service for front line workers and essential businesses.
"We are incredible happy that we could give back and help the cause by providing hand sanitizer for first responders and essential businesses," Ebel said.
A large majority of the staff is still working at full pay but the brewery had to furlough some of its employees.
Ebel said the company has lost a lot of beer, food and sprits sales with its restaurants, and with other bars and restaurants closing in the last three months. It was forced to find other ways to sell its products to consumers, such as increasing online ordering, carryout and delivery capabilities.
This virus, he said, has forced the brewery to think outside the box.
"We are facing a new reality now, so our businesses need to adjust and adapt as best they can," Ebel said.
The Paycheck Protection Program loans have helped during these trying times, he said, but the requirements to convert it from a loan to a forgivable grant are very tough in the current environment.
"It has been a challenging time for us, and for all local breweries and restaurants," Ebel said. "We are determined to come out of this a better company."
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