California, among other states, is revisiting the practicality of re-opening bars and breweries for business amid a massive surge in COVID cases. Governor Newsom, of California, one of the most densely-populated states by means of breweries, handed down new restrictions to seven of the state’s counties, resulting in an immediate shutdown of all on-site sales for bars. The counties affected include Los Angeles, Fresno, Imperial, Kern, Kings, San Joaquin, and Tulare counties. The Governor also heavily suggested the closure of bars in Contra Costa, Riverside, Sacramento, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Stanislaus and Ventura.
The main cause of the enforced closure in the first 7 counties is that all of the counties in question have been added to the California Department of Public Health’s “monitoring lists”. In essence, counties added to this list are undergoing COVID spikes consistently over a period of fourteen days or more, prompting further action from government and healthcare officials. Again, some counties have been mandated for closure, while others have been strongly recommended to help flatten the proverbial curve.
Much like the restrictions handed down by Governor Polis (which came a day AFTER the new restrictions in California), all bars, nightclubs and breweries that do not offer sit-down, dine-in food options must shut down, or find an outside food service provider to contract with. All alcohol sales must be accompanied by food.
I’m sure you’re all getting tired of the COVID reporting, as I certainly am. The reality of the situation, however, is very scary for breweries of any size across the nation. Now is the best time there’s ever been to drink local beer and stock that fridge so high that a chorus of angels comes forth with a warm, soft glow every time it opens. Most of our favorite breweries are small businesses, and they are really gonna feel it with this second wave rolling through. As if you needed any more reason to buy local beer, now it’s for a great cause no matter who you buy!