Local beer industry forges ahead beneath the shadow of COVID-19


Note that we have supplanted the list below with a much more comprehensive list. You can see that larger list here

It’s a tenuous thing. Everyone wants to be safe and responsible, but everyone also wants to support local businesses, especially businesses that rely almost entirely on customers walking through the door, like brewery taprooms and local bars. Concerns about the spread of COVID-19 have prompted such businesses to take special actions to remain open while also providing customers and employees with as safe an environment as possible.

We recently asked the local beer and brewing community about the things they’re doing in response to the current situation. Here’s what we’ve heard thus far. Please feel free to tell me about what your business is doing. Leave a comment below or reach out to me directly.

Updated 3/12/20

Hellbent Brewing

“In addition to the common-sense measures suggested by the CDC like self-quarantine when sick, hand hygiene, and social distancing, we are placing an emphasis on sanitizing our taproom for the safety of all. We have removed our self-service water stations, placed hand sanitizer for customer use at the order/handoff counter, encourage customers to use bus tubs & sort their own garbage, and have updated our growler filling procedure. We are also taking extra care to sanitize hard surfaces and encouraging greetings such as to spread some aloha where we can without spreading anything else. Waving a shaka instead of shaking a hand spreads nothing but love. ”

Reuben’s Brews

As recommended by KCPH, we have already postponed or canceled a number of events in our tasting rooms to minimize gathering crowds. While our tasting rooms are open like usual, we have also undertaken a number of measures to minimize the chances of exposure:

  • We have removed self-serve pretzels and kids game areas to minimize common areas of contact
  • Surfaces that get handled frequently (i.e. bathrooms, door handles, registers, water station, tables, chairs, etc.) are being sanitized regularly throughout the day and thoroughly cleaned before we open and close each day
  • We use a high-temperature dishwasher to sanitize items like glassware, tasting trays, napkin holders, and other often-touched common items
  • Our staff is washing their hands frequently, and we are monitoring their health to be proactive about keeping anyone with any symptoms at home, should that arise

Cairn Brewing

To do our part to make sure our taproom remains a healthy and happy place, we have made a few adjustments. These are the changes we’ve made in our taproom:

  • Hand sanitizers are located at either end of the bar. Please feel free to help yourself, as well as washing your hands frequently.
  • Our self-serve water cooler and dog treat bowl have been relocated behind the bar. Beertenders will be happy to grab you a glass of water or a couple treats for your pups.
  • Communal toys and games have been removed from the taproom. A select few can be “checked-out” from the beertenders. Please feel free to bring in your own toys, board games, and card decks from home.
  • We are also frequently sanitizing high-touch surfaces in the brewery (door handles, counters) and spending extra time at both open and close to sanitize our space.

192 Brewing – Lake Trail Taproom

At 192 in Kenmore we started placing coaster-sized plastic signs on each table to let customers know the table and chairs have been freshly sanitized, and to please turn the card over when they leave so we know that table needs to be re-sanitized. We have observed a lot of customers taking pics of the signs and saying they will take the idea back to their workplaces and other groups. We also made sure all table seating was spaced 6 feet apart and removed a few to make room.

Propolis Brewery

We are constantly washing our hands throughout the day while diligently Sanitizing, Glassware, Tables, Counters, Chairs, Doorknobs, Ipads, Bathrooms and all touched surfaces between uses. We encourage our guest to wash your hands “before consumption” of any beverages and/or utilize our hand sanitizer located at the end of our Bar. We are also very conscious of opening our doors throughout the day to keep fresh clean air circulating throughout the taproom.

Despite all our best practices, we understand that some of our guests are feeling more sensitive and medically vulnerable than others and we want to do our best to accommodate those important needs.

See Propolis’ Facebook page for more details and info.

Camp Colvos Brewing

Folks have been awesome about washing their hands when they come in. In the event the bathrooms are occupied and you want to wash your hands, we’ve brought our mobile hand wash station inside, replete with hot water, soap, and paper towels.

Hand washing sink right inside the front door at Camp Colvos Brewing.
Hand washing sink right inside the front door at Camp Colvos Brewing.

Sound to Summit Brewing

We removed many self-serve items like water coolers and condiment bottles in favor of single-use condiments and servers pouring water, and got rid of the games that lots of kids touch. Plus we have WAY stepped-up frequency and breadth of disinfecting.

Big Time Brewery

Big Time Brewery is cleaning every contact service constantly. We have a large dining area with plenty of elbow room to eat and drink while maintaining your personal bubble. We do to-go food and beer off our entire menu. The Seattle beer community is a strong one, let’s help each other out. If anybody needs anything like hops, malt, a shoulder to cry on, please reach out. And please continue to go to your favorite small businesses, otherwise they might not be here in a month or two.

Full Throttle Bottles

FTB is doing constant disinfecting on all door handles, knobs, tap handles, screens, tables, counters, and whatever else we can. My staff is washing their hands every 15 minutes or so. And we are supplying hand sanitizer. It’s the best we can do. Luckily we’re a small shop so hopefully it will keep us all safe.

Airways Brewing

(at the bistro and the brewery) We already have a great crew that is already mindful of public safety, so almost all of the recommendations from the CDC are already covered. However, we are implementing additional steps like wiping down high touch surfaces such as door handles, light switches, etc. with disinfectant on a regular schedule.

Geaux Brewing

More frequent cleaning regiment paired with measures that are visible to the public. The curbside pick up idea was actually something we discussed today. Just have to make sure we can make it work with a reduction in hours/shifts. We’re also looking into fun things to do that actually require people to be somewhat distant from each other…like beer pong on a 6ft table.

Best of Hands Barrelhouse

We’re cleaning our premises regularly, making sure our surfaces, door handles, etc. have been disinfected. This is a two way street though- use common sense & courtesy. Wash your hands often, & always after using the restroom (with warm water, for at least 20 seconds, WITH SOAP like yer momma taught you). Cover your cough. Be a good neighbor and stay home if you’re sick.

Silver City Brewery

In order to mitigate the risks of spreading disease, the Taproom will not be refilling personal growlers -or- personal kegs until further notice. We’re well-stocked on freshly packaged cans and bottles, and suggest choosing beer to-go at this time. If growler beer is still desired, new, out-of-the-box growlers are available for purchase. We also ask that all patrons and staff experiencing any headcold or flu-like symptoms to please consider staying home.

Pike Brewing

Pike Brewing announced that it has temporarily closed Tankard and Tun, but the Pike Pub (downstairs) remains open.  “…We have implemented additional sanitation procedures, including on high-touch areas like handles, railings, tables, chairs, menus, and bar tops. Our spacious 12,000-square-foot Pub allows guests to dine on-site while maintaining their distance from others.You can support us by:

  • Visiting us at The Pike Pub
  • Ordering delivery through Grubhub
  • Ordering lunch through MealPal
  • Picking up or having Pike beer delivered from your grocer.

In addition, Governor Inslee has declared a ban on gatherings of more than 250 people in King County during March and “very likely” beyond. With this in mind, we are regrettably canceling Women in Beer 2020. All ticket holders will be refunded. We hope you will consider making a donation to Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and Hawaiian Islands and supporting local women-owned and -made products.”

Lake Stevens Brewing

… We are doing all we can to ensure a clean and safe environment for you all to hang out. You see here (below) one of our owners, Brock on his hands and knees scrubbing every inch of the brewery floor with a bleach cleaner, we are using sanitizing wipes on our hard surfaces, hand sanitizer available for all customers to use (and we are requiring it) as well as fresh cups for every pour, no more reusing your glass.


Got anything to add? Leave a comment or reach out to me directly.


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