The California Craft Brewers Association (CCBA) statement on reopening guidance from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH)
The California Craft Brewers Association (CCBA) statement on reopening guidance from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH).
We are grateful for the CDPH’s work to ensure a safe reopening for California’s small businesses as the Regional Stay at Home order is lifted across the state. However, CCBA continues to be concerned about CDPH’s arbitrary and inequitable reopening guidance that treats brewery tasting rooms differently than winery tasting rooms — despite the fact they are in the same business. CDPH continues to require breweries to sell their guests a “meal” in the same transaction as alcohol. The same is not required for wineries or their guests.
The state’s guidelines essentially draws a bright line in their assessment of “wine drinkers” and “beer drinkers” and “wine manufacturers” and “beer manufacturers.”
Brewery tasting rooms, similar to winery tasting rooms, have both rural and urban locations spread out across the entire state, are licensed as manufacturing facilities by the state Alcoholic Beverage Control, typically operate with limited hours, limited seating and are allowed to serve the product they make onsite. Both wineries and breweries follow the same public health requirements for safe reopening, which includes limiting seating capacity and following social distancing and sanitation requirements.
Additionally, breweries and wineries are allowed under certain circumstances to share tasting room locations. In these situations, breweries sharing the same space with a winery are requiring their customers to purchase a meal to taste beer onsite, while the winery is operating without the mandate to provide a meal.
California brewers are invested in their communities and committed to ensuring the health and safety of their employees and customers. As they begin reopening and rebuilding their businesses, the expectation is simply to be treated equitable with fair and reasonable guidelines from the state.
The CCBA is currently taking steps to obtain a judicial determination declaring the unequal treatment unconstitutional. https://californiacraftbeer.com/release-ccba-files-federal-lawsuit-alleging-arbitrary-and-discriminatory-treatment-of-beer-manufacturers-in-reopening-orders/