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LEXINGTON, N.C. — Getting creative and pivoting. The pandemic has forced everyone to change their routines and even their business plans.

Starting on Jan. 12, one local business is using those lessons learned to get some extra money.

The Goose and the Monkey Brewhouse in Lexington launched their first “beer school.”

For just $10, people can learn from the experts about their favorite beers, including how it’s made and why people may like it.

The goal is simple: get people in the door and in their seats. Every little purchase helps.

“We were open for 16 days. We opened Feb. 29, 2020. We opened with a bang,” General Manager Justin Butler said. “We were open for 16 days and we were immediately closed down and was sent to Phase 1.”

For months, the taproom sat empty.

Then, they could open, but under the state’s COVID restrictions.

“We were initially open until 10, 10:30, 11:30 at night, and now we have to stop serving hard at 8:59,” Butler said. “That’s difficult. We’re not able to utilize the taproom to its full extent, we’re not able to have any major events. That’s definitely hurt our ability to be profitable.”

They didn’t even get a real chance to make any profits.

Butler said he knew to make the business last, they had to think of something.

“If you’re here for 15 minutes versus an hour, the likelihood that you’re going to be here for an hour and have two beers instead of one? Pretty solid,” he said.

So how does a brewery get customers to stay?

“‘If there’s something going on in the taproom, they’re more likely to stay around and take part in whatever is going on,” Butler said.

His solution started with pouring a pint.

“We have customers all the time ask us, ‘oh what makes this beer… why is it that way?’ ‘How is it made?’ ‘What’s the difference between this style and this style,'” Butler said. “It was a no-brainer for us to say, okay, you’re curious? Do you want to learn more? Let’s give you a forum to learn.”

They decided to start their “beer school.”

For a small fee, customers get 30-45 minutes of conversation about a certain beer, including the fermenting process, ingredients, and how it’s made.

Butler is hoping people will want to come, to not only learn about beer, but also to help a local business.

For more information, head to their Facebook page.

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