ORLANDO, Fla. – Bars and craft breweries closed for the second time during the coronavirus pandemic in Florida on June 26, after contact tracing linked several outbreaks of the virus to bars, according the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.
Craft brewery owners say that move was unfair. Business owners say, their breweries are distinct from bars in that most are not open late and do not cater to the same type of close contact socializing.
Because of that the Florida Brewers Guild has issued an open letter to Gov. Ron DeSantis and the head of the DBPR, Halsey Beshears. The letter paints a grim picture of the state of Florida’s craft breweries. According to the letter, a majority of the state’s 320 craft breweries are working on a “to-go” only model of business, which typically only represents 10% of sales for the those businesses. At least 100 craft breweries are on the verge of closure, according to the Guild.
To learn more about these problems and what the Florida Brewers Guild would like to see done about it, the hosts of Florida Foodie podcast sat down for a conversation with Glenn Closson, the CEO of Ivanhoe Park Brewing and the treasurer of the Florida Brewers Guild.
He tells us about the frustrations many breweries are facing and how they are willing to compromise and work with the state to keep people safe while staying in business.
Since we recorded this on conversation, the head of the DBPR announced that he would be meeting with bars and breweries across the state, starting on Friday, July 31, to discuss ideas on how those businesses can safely reopen.