Although many breweries were packed with people over the weekend, others closed their doors in the interest of public health or switched to new formats in the hopes of staying in business.
Hogshead Brewery, for instance, says it will roll out free Crowler delivery today, while WeldWerks Brewing in Greeley, Odd13 Brewing in Lafayette and Odell Brewing in Fort Collins have reduced hours and turned off the taps — and are now offering only packaged beer to go. Raices Brewing in Denver, meanwhile, is doing curbside beer pickup from a dedicated spot outside of the brewery. The Mountain Sun Pub group, which owns the Vine Street Pub, has closed its doors and is now offering curbside pickup of food to go.
In the meantime, other breweries and brewpubs have decided to close up shop entirely as a result of the coronavirus pandemic — at least for the next week and possibly more. They include Great Divide Brewing, Blue Moon Brewing, Our Mutual Friend Brewing, New Belgium Brewing and the Bull & Bush Pub.
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Our Mutual Friend managing partner Brandon Proff posted an eloquent letter on Facebook explaining his reasoning.
Hello friends. It is with great conviction I announce that effective Monday, March 16th the OMF taproom will close until further notice. This entire situation is the most difficult thing I have ever faced while operating our little brewery and the concern for how to pay our employees, rent, and bills is for us and every bar, restaurant, and brewery in town a huge consideration.
The fact of the matter is that not nearly enough is being done on the national, state, and city level to stop Covid-19. It is still spreading and testing capabilities are laughable at best. There are personal friends that are pretty sure they have it or have had it and cannot be tested because they’re not considered high risk for medical complications, which means they aren’t being counted toward the real total that shows how out of control this pandemic is locally. This is all very personal to me. My mom is battling extremely aggressive lung and kidney cancer and my adorable grandma who just turned 89 years young are both very much immune system compromised and I will not get to see either of them for the foreseeable future.
The reason why businesses like OMF haven’t been shutting down sooner is the financial disruption that can be dangerous to our very existence, but safety and looking out for each other is more important. I urge you to please support all of your favorite local businesses by purchasing their goods or gift cards wherever it is safely available. In our case we offer Electronic Gift Cards that can be used as soon as we reopen and will allow us to continue operating in a limited capacity while we wait this pandemic out. You can purchase them at www.OMFGC.com or the link in our bio.
We are all in this together and we appreciate your support from the bottom of our hearts. Be safe and take care of each other in the most unprecedented moment of most of our lives. We will get through this!
All of these businesses are waiting to see if state or local officials order bars, breweries and restaurants to close — as officials have done in other states. The Brewers Association, which represents craft breweries all over the country, is urging them to develop or implement to-go and delivery options. The breweries themselves are asking people to help support them by purchasing gift cards, merchandise or beer to go.
Factotum Brewhouse, for instance, has rolled out a Beer It Forward program to help its staff. Customers can pay $5 now to redeem any beer on the menu starting on May 1.