What to Expect When Visiting a Brewery Today

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You never know what you’re gonna get. Breweries across the nation are opening up again, and expectations are different. Some have been open for weeks, some only a few days, and some, unfortunately, won’t make it through this time of despair.

Are Breweries Important?

Is that important? Are breweries something we should really be worrying about these days? There’s so much else going on in the world, right now, right in our backyard, and there’s no escaping it. And we shouldn’t be escaping it; we should be facing all of the issues head-on. Addressing them, learning more, and taking action.

But in the face of this world, we still have to live. Living a life well-lived and well-loved is one small way to celebrate what we have, yes, but also to honor what we have lost.

Brewery Love

I’m being vague here on purpose. I want you to take this post and turn it into something that makes sense to you. Use our brewery love as a symbol for something else or keep it literal.

Beauty is in the eye of the beerholder

We encourage conversation, saying hi to a stranger, spreading love, that’s what community around beer is all about.

So, let me ask again, are breweries important in today’s world?

YES! They are a place for people to gather. A place to celebrate. A place to mourn. They are someone’s dream business, a hard-earned plan, a lifetime of work, a family legacy. They are places that honor grandparent’s last wishes, the environment, women, people of color, travel, culture, family, neighborhoods, music, hobbies, traditions, passions, and even religions.

The Stories and The Shoes

We have made it our business to tell these stories, and we hope you make it yours to listen. Because when you are able to take the time to get to know what’s behind your favorite beer, you gain a new pair of shoes, too (someone else’s and the ability to put yourself in them).

Ready for someone else’s shoes

Watch: Watch our Stout Conversation video series where we sit down with brewery people from all over the country, even a few in Baja.
Listen: Listen to our Craft Beer Travel and Adventure Podcast where we talk with people creating a life they love around adventure, travel, and beer.
Read: Our entire Living a Stout Life website consists of stories to inspire. Beer is about so much more than just beer.

What to expect when visiting a brewery today

When you finally re-enter a brewery, do so with grace and kindness. With a full understanding that everyone in that brewery is trying their best to live a life well-lived and well-loved. Beer or people, your first impression doesn’t usually tell the complete story. So take your time, let your palate adjust, and don’t be too quick to judge. Sometimes the best beer and the best people take time to get used to.

  • Read the signs upon entry or listen to the people that are there to greet you.
  • Wear a mask until you are seated and anytime you leave your table.
  • Wait for a table to be assigned to you; there’s generally no seating at the bar.
  • Breweries are operating at less than their normal capacity to keep social distancing in place.
  • You will be limited to a certain amount of people in your party.
  • No mingling from table to table or combining tables.
  • Most breweries are doing table service only (some are taking orders at the bar).
  • Payment may be a bit different, just ask. Some breweries now have apps to make paying and ordering contact-less.
  • Menus are tossed when one group is done, and new ones are used.
  • Some breweries are not currently using their glassware and may only have one size available.
  • Some are not offering flights.
  • Most are still offering to-go beer.
  • Water is available upon request.
  • Dogs kept at your table outside only.
  • Kids need to stay at your table and may not run around.
  • You may not be able to sit inside due to limited space; only outdoor seating available.
  • Many breweries are taking reservations ahead of time.
  • You may have to wait or come back later if brewery capacities are full.
  • You will get served a pint of beer from a tap at your favorite brewery.
  • You will get to see your favorite beertenders again (most of them, we hope).
  • You will feel normal (almost).

If you think we have a lot of rules to visit a brewery, check out the Brewers Association Checklist for Reopening Your Brewery to see how many rules breweries have to follow in order to re-open. We’ve got it easy.

Actually, we’ve got it GREAT!

So come on in, say hi to a stranger across the aisle, start a conversation or listen to one, raise your glass to getting to know things that you never knew you never knew.

And when you leave the safe space that your favorite brewery provides you, remember the conversations, the lessons learned, the plans made, and the action taken. Maybe that famous kindergarten quote should be:

“All I really need to know, I learned in a brewery.”

April Pishna, Living a Stout Life

Want to Help?

Black is Beautiful Initiative – Weathered Souls Brewing Co. created the Black is Beautiful Initiative to create a collaborative effort among the brewing community and its customers, in an attempt to bring awareness to the injustices that many people of color face daily.

#DrinktheStory Campaign – The Craft Beer Concierge created this campaign when the pandemic hit to gather people in a virtual community to tell stories about their favorite breweries before, during, and after the pandemic.

We’d love to hear what you are doing. Let us know by leaving a comment below, and we can help spread the word.

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