Business owners, do your own research. Nobody should take my word as gospel, but the latest changes to the state’s pandemic guidelines should allow many brewery taprooms and other beer-friendly businesses to reopen for “inside” seating. That is, assuming they want to reopen and can meet the latest, revised “open-air” guidelines. (Above: Airways Brewing – the brewery’s taproom, doors open wide.)
There’s a bunch of stuff to consider, but what’s new? In short, brewery taprooms with rollup doors or even a certain amount of open windows qualifies as “open-air” and could reopen at 25 percent capacity.
Yes, there are some other requirements and it is certainly not as simple as “Open the pod bay doors” might make it sound, but this is a significant change. One important piece of the new open-air guidelines involves monitoring CO2 levels.
If you know of other brewery taprooms looking at reopening because of the recently updated guidelines, please share in the comments section below.
Airways Brewing announced the reopening of its taproom at the brewery in Kent. The status is weather-dependent, so keep an eye on the brewery’s social media channels. “Starting today (Jan. 13), we’re allowed to have limited seating again at our Tap Room & Brewery location. You’ll want to bundle up, because we’ll need to keep the bay doors open for airflow purposes. On days when there’s not heavy rain, we’ll also have outside seating options available as well… We’re limited to 25% capacity, so please be polite to our servers if they aren’t able to accommodate you. Tables are limited to parties of six or fewer.”Four Generals Brewing. Rollup is up
Up the road in Renton, Four Generals Brewing is also rolling up the doors. “With the latest State guidelines in place we now have limited tasting room seating (12 max) and patio stand up tables. Our roll up door will remain open, and our heaters are available on the patio. Please remember to wear a mask when you are not at your designated drinking spot, and continue to practice social distancing. Remember this is a fluid situation so standby for changes, but we will get through this together.”
Down in Olympia, Well 80 Brewhouse reports that, “We just got our CO2 monitor. It’s plugged in and we’re keeping an eye on it through today. All goes well, we plan to open our interior tomorrow (Jan. 14) at 25 percent capacity.”
Similar story up in Bellingham where Boundary Bay Brewery reports, “The team is currently still waiting on getting our Carbon dioxide monitors, but as soon as we have them we plan to open the Taproom (with the garage door open) here at Boundary Bay. It’s looking like this should happen by this weekend, if all goes to plan.”
As for you, all you lovely, considerate and intelligent beer consumers, don’t f*** it up. These new guidelines provide some more flexibility, but they also present some challenges, so be patient and be sympathetic to what brewery taprooms and other local businesses are going through to serve you while also keeping you and their employees safe. Follow the rules or stay home.
As for you, all you beautiful, talented and creative breweries, with regards to these new guidelines, to quote the Washington Brewers Guild, “We strongly recommend that you check with the LCB and/or your local health jurisdiction before making investments in renovations or changes to your space… While not perfect, we are very pleased to have more flexibility to offer safe, fresh air dining during the current indoor dining ban and appreciate the Governor’s office and state agencies taking our input into consideration as these guidelines were developed.”
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Barlows Brewery of Vancouver, Washington opened less than a year ago amidst the pandemic restrictions. See our story about the opening last February. Not an easy thing to do. Today, we learned that Barlows Brewery is partnering with Kendall’s Pioneer Distributing and Browar Polska to distribute its beers across Washington state.
Here is the announcement we received today:BARLOWS CRAFT BREWS NOW POURING ACROSS WASHINGTON Fast-emerging craft brewer partnering with Kendall’s Pioneer and Browar Polska to offer innovative craft beers in multiple channels across the state
VANCOUVER, Wash. – (January 12, 2021) – Local craft brewer Barlows is taking its fresh, story-rich brews to craft beer enthusiasts across the state of Washington through a distribution partnership.
Less than a year after opening a Vancouver Waterfront location and an east Vancouver brewery and tasting room under pandemic limitations, Barlows is partnering with Corwin Beverage-owned Kendall’s Pioneer Distributing and Prowar Polska to make its lively choices available wherever Washingtonians tap or shop for fresh hand-crafted brews.
“It’s nice to have a distribution partner so we can spend most of our time growing our brewery and restaurant,” said co-owner Brian Rummer, who has about 10 beer choices available from its seven-barrel system, including IPAs, barrel-aged lagers and stout. “When we made the switch our service levels went through the roof.”
The first packaged distribution is underway with Barlows Crispy Mitts lager, a hockey-inspired brew honoring the nearby Mountain View Ice Rink, now available at local independent stores and restaurants. Next will be a cranberry cherry sour ale. Keg distribution for fresh draft service is being positioned as bars and restaurants make plans for a post-pandemic surge.
Kendall’s Pioneer Distributing is supporting Barlows beers across southwest Washington while Browar Polska will support the Seattle-Puget sound area and key points in eastern Washington. Both are part of Corwin Beverage Company, based in Ridgefield, Wash.
“As a local distributor that actively seeks and supports the small, hand-crafted brewing community, we view Barlows as another success story in the region’s thriving craft beverage industry,” said Sam Madrid, chief operating officer of Corwin Beverage Co. and general manager of Browar Polska. “The pandemic further revealed our region’s thirst for innovative
hand-crafted beers as our partners expanded sales by shifting distribution.”
Rummer named Barlows Brewery after Northwest pioneer legend Sam Barlow who crossed the Cascade range in 1845 from his native Indiana to settle in the area. Following a similar westward journey, Rummer started as a home brewer after growing up in a Texas town known for German craft beers and beer-themed celebrations.
With a local story-telling flair, Rummer worked with the Clark County Historical Society to personalize the east Vancouver brewery and sponsor exhibits and events, with a creative eye toward inspiring new small-batch brew themes.
Barlows is a locally owned and operated craft brewing company that operates Barlows Public House on the Vancouver waterfront and Barlows Brewery and Tasting Room, 705 E. Mill Plain Blvd, in east Vancouver. The craft brewer makes small batches of all styles of ales and lagers relying upon locally sourced ingredients and brewed locally. Its products are served at restaurants and bars, available in crowlers and growlers, and at retail locations where fresh craft beers are available.
About Kendall’s Pioneer Distributing and Browar Polska
Kendall’s Pioneer Distributing and Browar Polska are specialty distributors that provide high-quality craft beer, wine and cider products to retailers, bars and restaurants in Washington state. Kendalls Pioneer serves clients across southwest Washington while Browar Polska serves clients in the Seattle-Puget Sound ar ea and points in eastern Washington. Both are business units of Corwin Beverage Company, a fourth generation family-owned business that has distributed refreshments in western Washington since 1941.
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More flexibility for outdoor seating opportunities
The Washington Brewers Guild continues to work with the Governor’s office and state agencies to help breweries and other establishments navigate the current COVID-related restrictions. They’ve been working with industry partners and state authorities to create updated guidance for “Open Air and Outdoor Seating Requirements” for eating and drinking establishments. (Picture above: Beveridge Place Pub beer garden, via social media.)
If you are a brewery, bar, or restaurant operating an outdoor seating area for your guests, it would behoove you to understand the new guidelines. Here is today’s announcement from the Washington Brewers Guild about these latest updates.IMPORTANT: New Guidance on Options for Open Air Dining and Outdoor Seating Requirements
January 12, 2021
We have been working with the Governor’s office, Department of Health, Labor & Industries, Liquor & Cannabis Board, and other hospitality industry groups to develop updated guidance for “Open Air and Outdoor Seating Requirements” for eating and drinking establishments.
These guidelines are effective now and intended to provide alternatives to indoor dining. The updated document outlines four options for breweries and other eating and drinking establishments to offer customers an open air dining experience and applies to both permanent and temporary structures. Breweries may utilize any combination of these options, so long as each dining area is in compliance with the guidance.
We strongly recommend that you check with the LCB and/or your local health jurisdiction before making investments in renovations or changes to your space.
While the new guidelines largely do not impact outdoor tenting and other temporary structures that are currently in compliance, there may be some instances where operators need to make slight modifications to current tent set-ups. The most common adjustment would require the installation of a C02 monitor in a tent or structure where there are two open walls that are adjacent.
You can find the updated guidelines here. Pay careful attention to the diagrams. They will be extremely helpful as you plan your open-air spaces and will act as a guide for the approval and enforcement of these spaces.
We are working to put together a webinar soon to cover the guidelines with state agencies and answer questions. In the meantime, please submit any questions you have via this form and we will work to get answers for a FAQ sheet for all breweries.
While not perfect, we are very pleased to have more flexibility to offer safe, fresh air dining during the current indoor dining ban and appreciate the Governor’s office and state agencies taking our input into consideration as these guidelines were developed.
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The 2021 version of the Craft Brewers Conference and Brew Expo is scheduled for September in Denver (September 9-12, 2021). The event was originally slated for March in San Diego. The Brewers Association, which organizes the event, announced the change this morning. Last year’s event, which took place in the pandemic-affected spring, happened online via Zoom-like events and seminars.
The Craft Brewers Conference (CBC) is a learning opportunity that offers a number of valuable seminars and symposiums. Along with that, the Brew Expo is a sales event where suppliers showoff their latest and greatest brewing equipment and ingredients. The whole thing is also a social gathering of like-minded brewers from across the nation, with events at local breweries and bars.
The change of date, hopefully, moves the event to a time when the world will be closer to normal and gatherings like this will be much safer. The change of location brings the event closer to the Brewers Association’s headquarters in Boulder, Colorado.Here is this morning’s announcement from the Brewers Association:
We’re pleased to announce that the 38th edition of the Craft Brewers Conference & Brew Expo America® (CBC), presented by the Brewers Association, will return to Denver, September 9-12, 2021.
The premier conference and trade show for the craft brewing industry was originally scheduled to take place in San Diego, March 29-April 1, 2021, but has been rescheduled due to the ongoing pandemic.
Please cancel your plans for San Diego, and save the date for Denver.
Shifting to September in Denver provides us with an opportunity to convene in person, making it possible to do what brewers do best—build community and learn from each other.
Final confirmation of the in-person event remains dependent on health and safety protocols at the time of the conference. If an in-person event is not possible due to COVID-19 related concerns, the conference will move online. Registration for attendees and media is anticipated to open in April 2021. More answers to frequently asked questions can be found here.
In addition to the rescheduling of CBC, the Great American Beer Festival® (GABF) competition and awards ceremony, historically held in Denver, will also shift, with the awards announced during CBC on September 10. Details for the festival portion of GABF remain under review. A complete GABF competition timeline is available here.
We hope to see you in Denver this fall!
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It’s never too early to start thinking about summer, especially this year when the summer will look a lot different than last summer. Well, hopefully. Here in the PNW, summer is 3-Way IPA season.
Each year, Fort George Brewery of Astoria, Oregon teams up with two other breweries to develop a new version of 3-Way IPA. It’s always tasty and always a very popular seasonal beer. This year’s collaboration partners include Washington’s Varietal Beer Company and California’s Moonraker Brewing.The two beta versions of this year’s 3-Way IPA.
Though the release is still some months away the partners have already begun working on the formula for this year’s beer. In fact, last weekend Fort George Brewery released two test versions of the beer. If you’re lucky, you may find it “out there” somewhere. The brewery in Astoria, OR itself is probably the best place to score it. Otherwise, here’s some info about what you can expect in this year’s 3-Way IPA, and the two recent beta releases.
On social media, Fort George Brewery made the following announcement. “Who’s ready for summer aka 3-Way IPA Season!? Come grab what your first taste of what summer is going to be like this Saturday, 1/9 as we release Beta 24 and Beta 24.1, the first two test batches for this year’s 3-Way IPA with… drumroll please…. Our friends Moonraker Brewing Company and Varietal Beer Company !!”
“Though we could not get together in person for our traditional recipe building, team building, bonding and drinking hang, we did what everyone else is doing: Zooming and Drinking! We sent each other our favorite hop-forward beers and over two days and many hours, put together our initial recipe for another great 3-Way IPA.”
“We’re getting at it early so we can really dial in this recipe. The first two batches utilize locally malted grains from Linc, Mecca Grade, and Great Western, and an exciting new hop variety from New Zealand called Nectaron. Initial hop bill is: Nectaron, Strata, Comet and Simcoe.”
“Now for the question you’re all asking. Is it Hazy? Ya. It’s hazy. Beta 24 leans more on Strata and Beta 24.1 leans more on Nectaron. Try them all! These will see VERY LIMITED distribution, so come on out and see what we’re cooking up.”
For more news about recent beer releases, visit our New Beer Releases page.
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Black Raven Brewing announces the release of this year’s Grandfather Raven Imperial Stout. Here is the release announcement from the brewery.22-oz bottles and beer on draft available Saturday, January 8th
Grandfather Raven Imperial Stout is a robust black ale with bold notes of rich dark caramel, unsweetened chocolate, and hints of coffee. Stately indeed, but at 9.5% ABV, perhaps it is just a vain attempt to encourage the trickster spirit to act respectably. Grandfather Raven is released annually in the winter and limited quantities are available.
22oz bottles will be available at both of our taproom locations.
Due to increased precautions in Washington state, no indoor seating is currently available. Patios remain open in both taprooms if you’d like bundle up and enjoy a pour here.
Please visit our Tap Rooms page for the most up to date information on business hours or to place an order for pickup with contactless payment.
For more news about recent beer releases, visit our New Beer Releases page.
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