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COVID-19 Restrictions Begin Loosening for Sonoma County and California Breweries!

As we approach the 1-year anniversary of the first COVID-19 stay at home order, we finally received some welcome news! Twelve counties in California, including Sonoma, were given the green light to move to the Red Tier, which means we can reopen our brewpubs for indoor dining at 25% capacity, effective March 14th. This will be the first time we have been able to welcome guests through our doors (not counting the 2 whole weeks we were open in June/July) since March 16th, 2020.  While this only adds 8 safely distanced tables to Santa Rosa, it will create seating for about 50-60 more guests in Windsor. Outdoor dining will still be available at both locations, weather permitting. Since we are not fully staffed up at either location, we will be pulling a few outdoor tables for tomorrow, Sunday, in order to provide better service. Looks like it is going to be cold and rainy anyway. Windsor will remain closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, for now, with Santa Rosa open daily. Tours will remain closed until we no longer need to wear masks indoors and our entire production and tour team has been vaccinated.

Speaking of hiring, we are looking to fill a few positions at both pubs as well as in search of a qualified brewer to join our brewing team!  Check out our job posting board HERE.

Here is the press release regarding what moving to the Red Tier means for residents and businesses in Sonoma County:

Sonoma County Press Release March 12, 2021

In other good news, Governor Newsom has lifted the meal requirement for brewery and distillery taprooms and tasting rooms effective today! This is a huge win for breweries and distilleries who do not have commercial kitchens and have been struggling to comply with this onerous requirement. A big thank you goes out to the California Craft Brewers Association for spearheading this effort! We can all get back to supporting our favorite local brewery taprooms without having to eat a meal!  What does this mean for brewpubs, or those of us with commercial kitchens?  Nothing, really, since we fall under the restaurant guidelines. But that’s okay because it means we are moving in the right direction and it helps hundreds of businesses throughout the state! Once we hit the Orange Tier, or the metrics change, the meal requirement will be removed for restaurants and brewpubs as well. That said, we do have a tasting room in Windsor in addition to a brewpub. We feel comfortable reopening the Windsor Beer Garden soon (weather permitting) with a capacity limited to the number of chairs available and a 90-minute time limit. Here are the new tasting room guidelines directly from the CA Dept. of ABC:

Wineries, Breweries and Distilleries
Wineries, breweries, and distilleries that do not serve meals may open outdoors only with modifications in the Purple (widespread) and Red (substantial) tiers. The modifications include ensuring that patrons have reservations, are seated at a table, and observe a 90-minute time limit. On-site consumption must end by 8:00 p.m. A meal is not required for on-site consumption.

In the Orange (moderate) Tier, indoor operations may begin with 25 percent of maximum capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer. In the Yellow (minimal) Tier, indoor operations may increase to 50 percent of maximum capacity or 200 people, whichever is fewer.

The updated guidance does not apply to wineries, breweries, and distilleries that provide meals. Those establishments should continue to follow the restaurant guidance.

Our team is continuing to follow all COVID-19 safety protocols- wearing masks, staying a safe distance from customers and each other, washing hands, cleaning and sanitizing tables, chairs, door handles and other surfaces, and staying home when ill.  We are also in the process of getting as many of our employees vaccinated as soon as possible to help keep each other and our guests safe. This also gets us closer to being able to hug each other again! Looking forward to welcoming you back inside both of our brewpubs tomorrow.  It has been far too long!

Cheers!

Natalie and Vinnie

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