BUHL, Idaho — Magic Valley Brewing opened in Buhl in June 2016 and has become a well-known establishment across the region. Still, like many local businesses, the owners have faced struggles throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Magic Valley stopped in-person service in late March but reopened two months later. With new precautions and rules in place, they could only allow half the capacity, making it difficult to bounce back from the spring closures.
"Your revenue drops to 25% or 30% of what you're used to. You still gotta pay everybody, you still got a mortgage, you got everything like that to take care of. That can be pretty stressful," said Magic Valley's owner and brewer, Richard White.
To help jump-start sales, Richard and Judy White decided to do something they hadn't done before: offer not just beer delivery and pick-up, but food as well.
"We had people who could have very easily cooked meals at home, and they were coming by and taking take-and-bake meals at least once a week," said Richard.
The response was bigger than they imagined with people outside of Magic Valley Brewing's regulars taking advantage of delivery and pick-up.
"There's a fair number of people in this population that do not drink for religious reasons and most likely would have never come in because we're a brewery. Well, during that time, they discovered we had food, and if there was a silver lining somewhere, that was it," Richard explained.
Things are slowly returning to normal for Magic Valley Brewing. People are coming back in for lunch, and staff still wear face masks to ensure everyone feels comfortable.
Now, Richard and Judy are focusing on the future and an expansion into downtown Twin Falls, a dream the community can help make a reality through online investment platform Mainvest.
"This is a chance to invest in a local business and see potential returns off of it. It also makes sure that money in local economies stays in local economies," said Kaylin Kulza, Magic Valley Brewing's Business Success Manager.
So far, the community has pitched in more than $72,000, and there's still a month to go.
For those who can't invest right now, the owners are asking everyone to just spread the word.
"If people can just share it, you never know who might see it and say, 'hey, I want to support local business,'" said White.
Richard and Judy hope to launch the new location by March. To check out what's on tap and what's on the menu at Magic Valley Brewing, click here.