AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) — For the first time in months, you could hear a celebratory “cheers” in many of Colorado’s 400-plus breweries.
Many reopened their taprooms to customers on Wednesday after being shut down since March.
However, business wasn’t exactly booming at many of those breweries, as it appears many customers are reluctant to return on this first day breweries were allowed to reopen.
“Today is interesting. There’s not lines out the door. There are not massive amounts of people,” explained Paige Schuster, one of the owners of Two22 Brew in Aurora.
Two22 Brew is among the many breweries that reopened Wednesday to lighter traffic.
“We didn’t know what to expect,” Schuster said.
A few miles away, the parking lot at Dry Dock Brewery was even emptier. Dry Dock is one of the many breweries who chose not to open on Wednesday, despite a green light from the governor.
“We wish we could open today, but getting the information on Monday, a holiday, we just wanted to make sure we got everything right,” explained Michelle Reding, one of the brewery’s owners.
There are also some breweries that can’t open. Breweries that do not serve food must partner with a nearby restaurant or food truck or stay closed.
“It’s a very weird requirement,” said Schuster.
That means food trucks like Barrett and Pratt Provisions are in high demand.
“Our business tripled probably once COVID happened. We’ve gotten 15 to 20 phone calls and emails in just the last 48 hours, just wondering what our availability is,” owner Rob Dominy said.
You’ll now see food at all breweries, but there are many things you won’t see. Gone are the days of seating yourself.
You can also forget about having drinks with a large group of people. Tables are now limited to six or less people indoors and eight people or less outdoors. Tables are also spaced at least six feet apart, and no one is allowed to sit at the bar if drinks are poured facing customers.
“It’s just absolutely a new way of operating,” said Reding.
However, most are choosing to see the glass as half full, focusing on the fact that breweries are back.