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Taproom and Brewery Closures in Response to Coronavirus

March 13, 2020

By Sarah Freeman, March 13, 2020

The rapid spread of COVID-19 has already begun to impact the brewing industry, with the Brewer’s Association canceling next month’s Craft Brewers Conference and Greenport Harbor Brewing Co. in Peconic, New York temporarily closing its taproom after an employee was diagnosed with the virus. While most breweries have until now limited their response to deep cleanings as well as increased health and sanitation practices, others are taking more serious measures. Flying Dog became the one of the first breweries to announce the closure of its taproom on Wednesday, March 11, but others quickly followed suit. Here’s is a list of major taproom and brewery closures in response to the coronavirus.

Rhinegeist

Cincinnati's Rhinegeist followed the directive of Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, who banned large gatherings over 100 people, by temporarily closing its taproom beginning Friday, March 13. In a post on its website, the brewery’s team stated that, “We will be evaluating the situation daily but for now, our priority is to protect our customers, staff, and their families and do what we can to keep our community healthy.”

Flying Dog

One of the first breweries to shut down its taproom in response to the rapidly spreading COVID-19 virus was Frederick, Maryland’s Flying Dog. The brewery announced on Wednesday, March 11 that it decided to close its tasting room as well as cancel all events at the brewery. According to the statement posted on its website, this decision does not affect brewery employees.

Lakefront Brewery

Effective Friday, March 13, Lakefront Brewery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin has closed its beer hall and restaurant as well as ceased all tours and special events at the brewery until further notice. According to a statement on its Facebook page, “We've seen too many eye-opening coronavirus situations, from China to Washington, and have determined this is our best course of action to prevent the spread.”

Guinness Open Gate Brewery

Guinness’ Open Gate Brewery announced on Twitter on Thursday, March 12 that the Dublin, Ireland brewing facility and taproom will be closed until at least March 29. The next day, its Halethorpe, Maryland brewery also anouced its closure. Its St. Patrick’s Day events were also canceled. The brewery is offering refunds to anyone who purchased tickets to the weekend events.

Dogfish Head

Dogfish Head announced on Facebook that it has closed its coastal Delaware locations for the next week, starting on Friday, March 13. This decision impacts the brewery’s tasting room in Milton, brewpub and Chesapeake & Maine restaurant in Rehoboth Beach, and Dogfish Inn in Lewes. Dogfish Head has also canceled all events planned for the month of March including its Weekend of Compelling Ales & Spirits.

New Belgium

New Belgium announced Friday afternoon on Facebook that its Fort Collins, CO and Asheville, NC taprooms will be closed until April 1. The brewery added, "We know and appreciate that many of you care deeply about our co-workers in the tasting rooms. We want to assure you that our teams will still be paid during this time. None of our co-workers have been diagnosed with COVID-19 at this time."

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