(CBS) — Buddy and Barley, known collectively as the “brew dogs,” have been bringing joy and beer to residents of Huntington, New York, since stay-at-home orders have largely confined people to their homes. With the coronavirus pandemic-forced lockdown, their owners – now their bosses – said they have had to “redefine” their brewery business after being deemed essential and thereby allowed to remain open.
“Buddy and Barley are superstars in the town of Huntington,” one of their owners, Karen Heuwetter, told “CBS This Morning: Saturday” co-host Dana Jacobson. “They have been requested on many cases, and we are making it well known that they can deliver beer to your house.”
Karen Heuwetter and her husband, Mark, own a local microbrewery on Long Island called Six Harbors Brewing Company. When the coronavirus pandemic hit, Mark said they didn’t know what was going to happen.
“When it first came out we were like, holy smokes, can we open? Can we close? What do we do?” he recalled. “We had to redefine our business. We never had curbside, we never had delivery.”
However, he said business seemed to be working out with the help of their trusted canines.
“When they go out and make people smile, I think people really like that. In fact, people need that these days, so when they put a smile on people’s faces they’re doing their job – which, by nature, is easy for them,” Karen said.
Karen pointed out that using the dogs for deliveries helps them maintain social distancing guidelines, putting them and their customers’ minds at ease.
“You really kind of can’t get close to people other than your own family members,” she said. “The dogs kind of bring more of a connection for them.”
While they hope this kind of cheerful and unique delivery system will keep business going, the Heuwetters admitted that times are difficult.
“Sales are not what they used to be,” Karen said.
Mark estimated that business was down “60 to 70% of what it normally is,” and said they brought in family to help in the meantime.
“To do some canning, make some deliveries, answer the phone,” he explained.
The pair said they were hopeful their “new options” will “be able to pay the bills,” while their newest four-legged employees brighten people’s days along the way.