Here’s what Columbus breweries are doing in the face of coronavirus

Written by on March 15, 2020 in Bars, Beer, Taprooms - 2 Comments

UPDATE: Governor Mike DeWine is officially ordering all Ohio bars to close after 9pm tonight, adding that establishments can stay open for carry-out and delivery. Check this article for updates on bars, breweries and bottle shops that are delivering.

The current COVID-19 crisis has impacted just about every industry imaginable, including craft beer. While most Columbus area breweries have announced enhanced sanitization procedures, we’ve compiled a list of additional measures some are taking to “flatten the curve” and curb the spread of coronavirus.

Closing Their Doors

The Brew Brothers at Scioto Downs and Staas Brewing have both made the difficult decision to shut down indefinitely. Staas re-opened for limited growler fill hours yesterday and may do so again in the future. Homestead announced today that they are closing their doors through at least March 16. This morning, Governor Mike DeWine indicated in an interview with NBC News that he is considering closing all Ohio restaurants and bars.

Ceasing Growler Refills

Combustion, Double Edge, Eldridge & Fiske, Homestead, Ill Mannered, Lineage, Outerbelt, Parsons North, Platform and Trek are among the breweries that have announced they will no longer be refilling growlers that people bring from home to minimize the risk of spreading contagions. These breweries will continue to fill new growlers and/or crowlers.

Switching to Single Use Cups

While glass may be the preferred vessel for serving beer, it does present some risk in spreading germs, particularly to bar staff who have to handle used glassware. For now, Double Edge, Homestead, Outerbelt and Trek have made the switch to disposable or compostable cups for all beer served in their taproom, while Lineage and Nostalgia are offering single use cups as an option for guests. Land-Grant is offering on-premise can specials to limit the use of glassware.

Suspending Communal Seating

The communal bier hall aesthetic is a popular one among breweries, but in an effort to encourage social distancing, Gemüt Biergarten, Hofbrauhaus, Parsons North and Trek have announced they will be spacing guests out for the foreseeable future.

Providing Community/Staff Support

North High is hosting a non-perishable food drive through Friday, March 20th — bring a donation to the taproom to receive $1 off a pint. And while most breweries have posted some sort of statement about advising staff to stay home if sick, Wolf’s Ridge has made the commendable move of offering paid time off to their entire staff — the brewery has provided PTO to staff who work 25+ hours per week since 2007, but they are expanding that policy to include all staff during the current crisis.

Cancelling/Postponing Events

Hoof Hearted Brewery & Kitchen‘s 4th anniversary party and Lineage Brewing‘s 5th anniversary party are among those that have been cancelled as a preventive measure. The March 28 Columbus Brew Festival has also been postponed, and Columbus Craft Beer Week — slated for May 1st through 9th — could be next.

“We seriously have to look at the implications of where we think we will be at that time,” said Mary MacDonald, Executive Director of the Ohio Craft Brewers Association.

Offering Beer Delivery/Shipping

The Ohio Craft Brewers Association has encouraged breweries to get creative getting product to customers in the coming weeks by reminding them that Ohio breweries with an A1C liquor permit are legally able to 1) direct ship beer that they manufacture to consumers within Ohio 2) deliver beer that they manufacture directly to consumers within Ohio and 3) operate carryout service of beer that they manufacture.

Seventh Son will begin offering home delivery March 16 with a minimum order of one case. Random Precision is offering carside delivery of growlers — call 614-389-3864 from their parking lot to purchase. BrewDog is currently the only Central Ohio brewery that ships via their online ordering.

The Daily Growler is offering free growler delivery to anyone within a five mile radius of their Upper Arlington, Brewery District or Powell locations. Email info@thedailygrowler.com to place an order.

UPDATE: Governor Mike DeWine is officially ordering all Ohio bars to close after 9pm tonight, adding that establishments can stay open for carry-out and delivery. Check this article for updates on bars, breweries and bottle shops that are delivering.

About the Author

Cheryl Harrison. Editor of Drink Up Columbus. Geek of the craft beer/board game/sci-fi varieties. Fan of patios.

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