We are providing regular update emails to our brewery members. If you would like to receive these updates contact us here.
11/16/2020 – Updated Guidance for Outdoor Service, Tenting and Structures:
The Governor’s office issued new guidelines for outdoor dining and tenting/structures that provides more clarity:
Outdoor structures should have no more than two walls to provide appropriate ventilation, unless they meet ventilation requirements:
- Structures can have three walls if another opening exists that is large enough to create cross ventilation
Smaller outdoor dining structures, such as pods/igloos must:
- Ensure the sanitation guidance in the DOH Covid-19 Guidance for Food Establishments is followed
- Be limited to one dining party (max 5 people) at a time
- Keep doors and windows open when the structure is inhabited
- Ensure the structure is aired out between dining parties. Wait ten minutes to air the structure out before cleaning and sanitizing. A new party may not be seated until after sanitizing
- Keep structure as open as possible during cleaning and sanitizing and, at a minimum, employees shall wear disposable masks (for medium risk)
- Ensure orders and food/drink delivery occur outside the structure, if possible
Additionally, the guidelines require that:
- Lighting, electrical, ventilation and heating must not create a hazard for employees. Use caution with electrical cords; heaters must not produce carbon monoxide (such as propane heaters).
- Plans need to comply with state and local requirements/permits
- Adequate lighting for tasks such as cleaning and sanitizing must be provided
You can view the full, updated guidance, here.
11/15/2020 – Inslee Announces Statewide Restrictions for 4 Weeks -What it Means for Breweries & Member Resources:
Today, Governor Inslee announced new, temporary statewide restrictions in efforts to combat an alarming increase in Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations in WA. Here’s what it means for breweries. The same restrictions will apply to restaurants, wineries, distilleries, taverns, and other liquor licensees.
Effective November 18th – December 14th:
- Indoor on-premise service is prohibited
- Outdoor on-premise service is allowed at 50% occupancy
- Table party size for outdoor service no larger than 5
- Any tenting or temporary or permanent outdoor structures must meet Safe Start guidance, which currently requires structures/tents to have no more than two walls
- To-go, curbside, and delivery sales are allowed
Other measures in today’s order go into effect Monday, November 15th and include a ban on indoor social gatherings, a reduction in occupancy for grocery store and retail (25%), closing of gyms, bowling alleys, movie theaters, and more.
Governor Inslee also announced a plan to distribute $50 million in grants and loans to Washington businesses that have been economically harmed by the pandemic and pandemic related restrictions. He indicated that the funding is in-hand and details on the mechanism for distributing the funds are still in the works. We will be working with his office and the Department of Commerce to ensure breweries have access to this funding. More to come.
You can read more about the order, here.
Below, you’ll find info on deliveries, direct to consumer sales and shipping, tenting, unemployment resources for employers and employees, mental health resources, and hospitality employee relief.
We’ll be working to get you relief and make sure breweries voices are heard. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us- we are here to support you.
Breweries can deliver packaged beer, growlers, crowlers, and kegs. Deliveries must be made in compliance with the rules found here.
If you plan to use a third-party processing or delivery service, make sure it’s one of the LCB’s approved vendors, found here.
Direct to Consumer Sales and Shipping:
Breweries take orders via the internet, phone, or at the brewery and ship beer direct to consumers residing in WA.
Important note: state shipping laws vary from state to state. If you’re shipping out of state, you’ll need to check with that state’s liquor regulator to learn about their direct to consumer laws.
Last week, we hosted a Base Camp session on direct to consumer sales and shipping. You can watch the replay here.
Adding or Extending Outdoor Service/ Tenting Webinar:
You can find info on adding or extending outdoor service areas, here.
Last week, the WA Hospitality Association hosted a webinar on outdoor seating guidance and tenting. You can view the replay, here.
Unemployment FAQs for Employers and Employees:
WA unemployment resources for employers can be found here.
WA unemployment resources for employees can be found here.
Mental Health Resources:
This is a lot. Resources for crisis support and advice on self-care can be found here.
Hospitality Employee Relief Resources:
Information on grants and relief efforts for hospitality workers impacted by COVID-19, here.
10/30/2020 – The WA Department of Health released a document detailing ventilation and air quality best practices for reducing the transmission of COVID-19. To learn more about ways you can improve ventilation and air quality at your brewery, click here.
10/13/2020 – Today, Governor Inslee announced that the remaining 5 counties currently in Modified Phase 1 (Chelan, Douglas, Yakima, Benton, and Franklin) will move to Phase 2, effective immediately.
The complete and most current Safe Start guidance for restaurants, breweries, wineries, distilleries, and taverns can be found here.
10/7/2020 – Updates to Safe Start Guidance for Restaurants – What it Means for Breweries: Yesterday, Governor Inslee announced changes to Safe Start for restaurants that include some updates for breweries. Here’s a quick summary of the updated guidance, effective immediately:
Updates for breweries that DO NOT meet the food menu requirements for indoor service: •Max outdoor table party size increased to six in Phase 2 and eight in Phase 3 •Cut-off for alcohol service, delivery, and consumption moved to 11pm
Updates for breweries that DO meet the food menu requirements for indoor service: •Same household requirement for indoor service no longer applies •Max outdoor table party size increased to six in Phase 2 and eight in Phase 3 •Cut-off for alcohol service, delivery, and consumption moved to 11pm
There is also a minor modification to table spacing rules for both indoor and outdoor seating. Tables must be spaced 6 feet away from adjacent tables, or there must be a physical barrier or wall separating booths or tables. Prior guidance required tables to be spaced 6 feet apart “from occupied chair to occupied chair.”
You can find the full updated guidance here.
For those of you looking for a refresher on the temporary minimum food menu requirements for indoor service, here’s the link.
We recently co-hosted a webinar featuring the Liquor & Cannabis Board, Department of Health, and Sysco, covering everything you need to know about meeting the food menu requirements for indoor service. You can view the recording, here.
These are welcome updates and come at a much needed time as we transition into the winter months. Please know we’re still working with the Governor’s office, state leaders, and state agencies to find more solutions and opportunities for breweries to operate safely alongside restaurants. We’ll continue to keep you updated on any progress.
9/11/2020 – Special Occasion License/Virtual Non-Profit Auctions Compliance: You may be seeing an increase in donation requests, as non-profits get creative with fundraising and move more and more to virtual events. Many non-profits may not be aware that a Special Occasion License is still needed to sell or auction alcohol – even for virtual events. The LCB has released these helpful guidelines for virtual auctions vs online auctions.
8/20/2020 – Important: Updated Food Menu Guidance to Resume Indoor Seating at Breweries, here. This week, the LCB released new guidelines for food menu requirements for indoor service at breweries. In addition to the menu requirements, all other Safe Start restaurant industry guidelines apply. You will find the full industry guidance, here.
7/17/2020 – Yakima/Benton/Franklin County Update
6/5/2020 – WA Safe Start Plan Overview
May 11, 2020 – Phase 2 Guidance for Brewery/Restaurant/Tavern Reopenings: Phase 2 includes all breweries, regardless of license type. In order to reopen in Phase 2, businesses must comply with the outlined requirements. A link to Phase 2 requirements and a memo outlining what types of businesses are included can be found here.
4/23/2020 – Washington’s Recovery Plan information, here. Breweries, deemed essential services under the order, may continue the following operations as approved under the original order:
- Breweries may produce and distribute beer
- Breweries may make beer to-go sales, including growlers, curbside sales and deliveries. For curbside sales and deliveries, please complete and submit a “Temporary Activities Form” to the WSLCB. The form can be found here, under curbside and delivery service.
- No consumption can take place on a brewery premise, inside or outside
- Breweries must implement rules and procedures to help facilitate social distancing of 6 feet
Best Practices for Implementing Social Distancing here.
Personal Protective Equipment – How you can help
4/17/2020 – Monthly/Quarterly Tax Filing and Payments Info:
Many monthly and quarterly employer tax filings and/or payments have been deferred. Here’s a quick round-up of the latest status on tax filings.
WA DOR Taxes: Certain payments have been deferred. You are still required to file, even if you don’t pay. More info found here.
WA Beer Excise Tax (WSLCB): Penalties for late payments waived through May 4th (retroactive to end of February). You’ll still need to file. Info here.
Federal Beer Excise Tax (TTB): 90-day postponement for filings and payment expires on July 1, 2020. More info here.
Quarterly Unemployment Taxes (ESD): Unemployment taxes and reports have not been deferred and must be filed and paid, however, you can request a penalty waiver here if you are unable to pay.
Worker Compensation Premium (L&I): L&I is now offering a L&I Tax Grace Period for premium payments, along with payment plans for employers facing financial difficulties during the pandemic. Under this new offer, employers can request for their payment to be deferred for up to 90 days, or can ask for a 90-day payment plan. Either way, the delayed payments will be penalty- and interest-free. Payments for the first quarter of 2020 are due no later than April 30. To be eligible for this coronavirus-related assistance, employers must contact their L&I account manager if they know they won’t be able to make their quarterly premium payment. Account managers are available by phone at 360-902-4817. Click here for more info and filing links.
Direct Shipping via common carrier (UPS, FedEx) to WA Consumers: WA breweries can apply for “internet sales” privileges and once approved, can ship beer to consumers residing in WA State. Fill out the attached Added Activities form LCB, requesting Internet Sales privileges. Orders must comply with the rules found here.
Extending Outside Service and/or Changing Floor Plans to comply with Phase 2 occupancy and social distancing requirements: If you are temporarily altering your floor plan to accommodate the 6 foot rule (moving tables around, etc) you do not need to get approval from the LCB. If you are looking to extend into new outdoor spaces (sidewalks, parking lots, adjacent picnic areas), you need to submit a request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
LCB Webinar Recap & Link: On 5/19/2020, WBG co-hosted a Phase 2 Reopenings webinar with the WA Hospitality Association and WA Wine Institute, featuring speakers from the Liquor & Cannabis Board. Chief of Enforcement, Justin Nordhorn, and Director of Licensing, Becky Smith, covered a wide range of topics including bar seating, changes to floor plans, extending outdoor seating, curbside orders and deliveries, what to do with expired beer, and more. You can watch the full webinar, here.
Keg Registrations – No Longer Required for Breweries – Per LCB: With the passage of HB 2412, Domestic breweries licensed under RCW 66.24.240 and microbreweries licensed under RCW 66.24.244 are not subject to RCW 66.28.200 when selling or offering for sale kegs or other containers containing four gallons or more of malt liquor of the licensee’s own production, or when selling, offering for sale, or leasing kegs or other containers that will hold four gallons or more of liquid. This requirement is not in effect yet, but due to the impacts of COVID-19 LCB will not enforce this during the period before the official effective date of HB 2412, which is June 11, 2020.
WA Hospitality Employee Relief Fund Info and Links
Small Business Local Resources
The City of Seattle’s Office of Economic Development has been allocated $1.5 million to help qualifying small businesses located in Seattle with 5 employees or less
Amazon has created a $5 million Neighborhood Small Business Relief Fund to help small companies located within a few blocks of its Seattle headquarters
Additional Small Business Assistance:
SBA Loans & Grants:
Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act Signed into Law: 6/3/2020 – The legislation addresses many concerns brought forward by our industry and will provide flexibility for small businesses by: Easing loan forgiveness terms by lowering the payroll spend requirements from 75% to 60%. Extending the PPP covered period from the current June 30, 2020 to December 31, 2020. Extending the forgiveness period (currently 8 weeks) to the earlier of: (1) 24 weeks after the origination of the loan or (2) December 31, 2020. Extending the safe harbor deadline to rehire employees and restore pay to avoid reductions in forgiveness from the current June 30, 2020 to December 31, 2020. For more information on the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act, visit the Brewers Association (BA) website, here.
SBA Releases New Guidance for Applying for PPP Loan Forgiveness: 5/22/2020 – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) released additional PPP guidance this week in the form of the Loan Forgiveness Application, which includes some key definitions and instructions for loan forgiveness. Those of you who have received loans, can find more info here.
Congress Approves Additional PPP Funding: 4/23/2020 – The House passed another coronavirus package that includes additional funding for the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Payroll Protection Program (PPP) and the Economic Injury Disaster Loans program, as well as $75 billion for hospitals and disease testing. The PPP will receive an additional $310 billion, with $60 billion specifically earmarked for small lenders. The parameters for the program have not changed and can be found here. It is unclear when applications will be reopened. We are monitoring closely and will provide updates as they come. An alternative option for some businesses might be the Federal Reserve’s Main Street Lending Program. Here’s an article that provides a good overview of both programs.
SBA Tax information:
Department of Revenue info on how to defer certain tax payments
WA State Dept of Revenue will have authority to waive, suspend penalties and interest on certain late tax payments
Additional SBA Resources:
SBA Assistance for Breweries During the COVID-19 Crisis: What’s Available, webinar hosted by the Brewers Association
Unemployment Security Department Resources:
Dept of Employment Security emergency rules and a Q&A sheet for employers and employees impacted by the coronavirus
Financial Resources for WA Residents:
Employment Security Dept & Dept of Commerce resources and tools as they become available here
Department of Health:
Mental Health Support: Washington Recovery Help Line at 1-866-789-1511.
Brewers Association Resources:
Believe in Beer Fund: The Brewers Association has partnered with Bottleshare, a fundraising non-profit dedicated to the craft beverage community, to create the Believe in Beer Fund to support breweries and state brewers guilds impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. The fund is open for breweries and state guilds from across the country to apply for financial assistance for operations expenses such as payroll, rent, and utilities. Beginning April 24 and through the end of American Craft Beer Week on May 17, individuals can contribute to the fund by visiting GoFundMe.com. Relief funds will be available to breweries and state guilds that demonstrate immediate financial need due to COVID-19 and meet the outlined criteria.
Brewers Association Best Practices for Beer To-Go Sales, The Brewers Association put together guidelines for breweries to follow when selling beer to-go from their establishments. This guidance includes best practices for maintaining sanitary practices and social distancing in light of COVID-19. Learn more here.
Brewers Association write up on $2 trillion stimulus package, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) and what it might mean for your brewery here.
BA offering all nonmember breweries a temporary membership free of charge, also not expiring any current brewery members at this time. Contact email@example.com to join and gain access to COVID 19 related updates and online resources.