Bill Cronin, Mineral Springs Brewery

Hoping to help encourage people to get their COVID-19 vaccination, the owners of Mineral Springs Brewery will be hosting a vaccination clinic on Monday evening and giving a free beer to those who get their vaccine. MSB President Bill Cronin said they are working in partnership with HyVee. (File photo/southernminn.com)

Celebrating the ongoing ease of pandemic restrictions, one local business is hoping to keep the momentum going with the enticement of good, cold beer.

Mineral Springs Brewery, working in collaboration with HyVee, will be hosting a “Shot and a Chaser” COVID-19 vaccination clinic on Monday in hopes of getting more people vaccinated and continuing the march toward herd immunity. After receiving the one-and-done Johnson and Johnson vaccine during the event, participants will be gifted a free pint of MSB beer.

When first approached by HyVee with the idea, MSB President Bill Cronin said the ownership group immediately jumped on board. The owners of MSB are Cronin, Mark Sebring, Mark Knutson, Rod Baker, and Tim Pelton.

“There was no hesitation on our part, we immediately asked what we can do to help,” Cronin said. According to Cronin, all the owners have been fully vaccinated for some time, having all taken advantage of the opportunity to get the vaccine when it became available to them.

Stemming from the idea of a similar event that took place at the Lake Monster Brewery in St. Paul, Cronin said that they are hoping the incentive of one of their locally brewed beers will help move the populous toward herd immunity, therefore avoiding another dial back on the COVID-19 restrictions.

“It’s worth it,” Cronin said about giving away free beers if it means someone who has yet been vaccinated takes the leap. “We’ve talked all along about being a community asset, and if our asset of beer can somehow spark the community to get the vaccine then great – let’s use it.”

Cronin said they hoping to see 100 people get vaccinated on Monday, but even if there are only 10 individuals who come they will still feel they’ve help with the effort of “returning to normal.” Though the owners have been trying to encourage the safety restrictions and vaccinations throughout the pandemic, Cronin said it just “feels different” now that people are in their taproom without masks.

“It’s great to feel almost normal, but we are still nervous on what can happen if we don’t see the vaccinations continue,” Cronin said. “This is a very conservative area so the response to the pandemic has been very personal, both publicly and privately, so it doesn’t surprise me that there’s been some hesitancy here.”

“We are optimistic as owners that if we publicly display that we’re supporting this, that it might help,” Cronin continued. “We have a lot we’re gearing up for to bring to the community, and getting the community vaccinated is a big part of making that happen.”

The brewery recently booked out live music entertainment for the patio every Saturday evening through October. They also have begun dabbling in an open mic style opportunity for musicians who are looking for additional exposure on Thursday, Cronin said. In addition, the brewery is in the beginning stages of preparing for its Oktoberfest event scheduled for Sept. 24-26.

However, in order for these things to be able to happen, Cronin said the community needs to continue moving forward in stopping the spread and protecting others from COVID-19. While the taproom does not typically open on Mondays, he said they are happy to open for this reason.

“We would love to give away a bunch of beer,” Cronin said. “Get your shot and were will be a free one waiting for you.”

Reach Reporter Annie Granlund at 507-444-2378 or follow her on Twitter @AnnieGranlund. ©Copyright 2021 APG Media of Southern Minnesota.

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