Bedford brewery opens beer garden, pop-up food bank for restaurant workers

Apocalypse Ale Works received 300 cases of food from Sysco

FOREST, Va. – A Bedford brewery is looking to provide some relief to restaurants employees who are in a financial bind.

On Wednesday, Apocalypse Ale Works welcomed several restaurant workers into its beer garden for a pop-up food bank to pick up their choice of fresh food.

Director of Sales and Operations Austin John said the brewery received 300 cases of food from Sysco, a major food provider for area restaurants.

Sysco donated food that would’ve been shipped to restaurants that are now closed.

The idea originally started in Harrisonburg, Virginia and it’s now made its way to the Lynchburg-area.

Apocalypse Ale opened its refrigerator to store all the food.

Several restaurant workers lined up to enter into Apocalypse Ale Works' beer garden for a pop-up food bank. (WSLS)

It’s also working with Humankind in Lynchburg to get it in the right hands.

“We’re struggling just like everyone else, but we still have a platform that we can use to help those who are struggling more than us and we’ll take advantage of that,” John said.

People in line had to show their pay stubs before going in.

Each person was given a pair of gloves, plastic bags for their food and to practice social distancing only a few people were allowed in at a time.

Apocalypse Ale created a new website, called, to help keep people informed.

“This isn’t about us doing anything. This isn’t about Sysco doing anything. This is just about being good neighbors. In order to get through this we all need to be neighborly. We all need to go out of our way if we can to help us survive and come out of this stronger than we were before,” John said.

There will be another distribution Thursday through Sunday.

Organizers said the goal is to do something similar in Roanoke soon.