Beer Man

Would You Return to a Taproom This Summer? Breweries Want to Know

Yea or nay? Breweries want to know.
Yea or nay? Breweries want to know. Dry Dock Brewing
Colorado's breweries are getting ready to reopen at some point — maybe soon or maybe later. When they do, it's likely that there will be strict limits on how many people are allowed on the premises. But crowd control may not be an issue, as there are plenty of people who don't plan to set foot inside a brewery, bar or restaurant for the foreseeable future. How many? And under what circumstances? Breweries would like to know.

Two well-known beer makers, Dry Dock Brewing in Aurora and WeldWerks Brewing in Greeley, are conducting surveys of their customers — in conjunction with the Colorado Brewers Guild — to get an idea of what to expect. Will patrons want temperature checks at the door? What about touchless restrooms?

"We are compiling the data to show a statewide picture of what customers anticipate when reopening occurs," says Colorado Brewers Guild director Shawnee Adelson.

Other questions include: How frequently would you visit, which sanitization practices are most important to you, how important is social distancing at tables, and would you continue to use curbside pick-up? You can read and fill out the entire questionnaire from the guild online.

The survey is based on a headline-grabbing questionnaire that Atlanta's Monday Night Brewing conducted in early May after the state of Georgia lifted its coronavirus restrictions in late April.

The results were fairly grim, but also showed some sense of restraint by people who understand that social distancing will have to continue for safety's sake, regardless of what governments recommend.

Of the 740 people who responded, 25 percent said they would visit a brewery taproom within a month of the restrictions being lifted, while another 40 percent said they planned to wait at least another month. The remaining 35 percent said they would wait at least two months and possibly longer before bellying up to the bar.

The Brewers Guild will share the data it collects with all of its member breweries so that they can use it to make decisions about how and when to reopen.
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Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes