What the latest “Stay at Home” order means for breweries and beer lovers


March 24, 2020 (11:25)

The short version, according to the Washington Brewers Guild: the state’s breweries may remain open during the Stay Home, Stay Healthy Order announced by Governor Inslee yesterday (3/23/20). This includes both production activities as well as the sale of to-go orders, as long as the businesses take appropriate action to ensure safe social distancing practices.

Of course, what is allowed for breweries does not supersede any orders pertaining to individuals. That is, you cannot drive around town visiting all of your favorite breweries. Don’t do that.  If your afternoon walk takes you past a brewery, you are in luck. Otherwise, stay home and stay healthy, obey the other mandates of the order. Don’t f*** it up!

Here is the announcement from the Washington Brewers Guild regarding this latest development. .

Stay Home, Stay Healthy Order – What it Means for Breweries

WA Brewery Operations During “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” Order

March 24, 2020

Yesterday, Governor Inlsee issued a “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order, the latest in the State’s effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and keep WA communities safe. All non-essential businesses and venues have been ordered closed until April 8th. Essential businesses may remain in operation, so long as those businesses implement rules that help facilitate social distancing.

Breweries ARE included on the list of essential services, under food and agriculture. You can find the full list here.

Additionally, the allowance for take-out, to go sales, curbside and delivery is maintained. Here are the activities can take place at breweries under the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order:

  • Breweries may produce and distribute beer
  • Breweries may make beer to-go sales, curbside sales and deliveries. For curbside sales and deliveries, please complete and submit a “Temporary Activities Form” to the WSLCB. The form can be found here, under curbside and delivery service
  • No consumption can take place on a brewery premise, inside or outside
  • Breweries must implement rules and procedures to help facilitate social distancing of 6 feet

Best Practices for Implementing Social Distancing

While breweries can continue production, distribution and to-go sales at this time, it’s critical that you adopt rules to implement social distancing to keep your employees and customers safe. That means maintaining a 6-foot distance.

Front of House could include:

  • Encourage customers to call in their orders before they arrive.
  • The CDC recommends no more that 10 mins of close contact
  • When customers arrive to pick up beer, have them wait in line 6 feet apart
  • Use signage at the door alerting customers to the 6 foot rule and place markers on the floor in waiting areas
  • Encourage customers to wait in their vehicles and you can call them in or deliver beer to their car when it’s ready
  • Check IDs from a distance. When making deliveries, the signature requirement has been temporarily waived- just ask customers to hold up their ID and check it from a safe distance
  • Adopt a “no cash” policy
  • Remove chairs from seating areas

Breweries should be making all efforts to implement rules to protecting employees. Find a detailed description of CDC COVID-19 best practices for workplaces here.