Disabled employees at Englewood brewery want to work, coronavirus fears keep them home

80% of employees at Brewability are disabled
Posted at 3:40 PM, Mar 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-22 23:25:59-04

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Avery Becker loves his job at Brewability, it's his first job, and he says while he's at the brewery, he doesn't have to be ashamed of his disability.

"There are other people around with disabilities, and they understand," said Becker.

Eighty percent of the employees at the brewery are disabled, and for many, it's more than a job — it's a huge part of their life.

Tiffany Fixter opened Brewability in October of 2019, she has a background in special education and realized many people with disabilities often struggle to find work.

"I wanted to make sure that adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities had a job that had social interaction, so that's why we chose a brewery," said Fixter.

Even though Brewablity is selling beet to-go, Fixter made the difficult decision to send her disabled employees home because their immune systems are compromised. She says many of her employees are high risk, and they're unable to leave their homes at this time.

"We're just waiting until it's safe for them to come back to work, but it is really hard to explain that to them because they keep calling and texting, 'I'm not sick boss,'" said Fixter.

In the meantime, she has asked her employees to help design gift cards that will be available for purchase in-person and online. The brewery is also selling t-shirts.

"It's very important that we try to generate as much revenue as we can during this time to first off sustain the business, so there's something for our employees to come back to after this is passed," said Tanner Schneller, Brewability's head brewer, and co-owner.

Becker said he couldn't wait to get back to work and looks forward to the days when he can interact with customers in the taproom again.

"It stinks not being able to work, especially for us with disabilities who haven't had jobs before and like this is our first job," said Becker.

Brewability is located at 3445 S Broadway in Englewood. The brewery is selling growlers of beer-to-go seven days a week from 3:00 p.m. through 6:00 p.m. Additional information can be found on their Facebook page.