*UPDATED* Denver Breweries to Remain Open for Beer Delivery and To-Go Sales
It’s been a roller coaster of a day for the City of Denver beginning with a press conference from Mayor Michael Hancock at 2 pm, where he announced the shut down of non-essential businesses throughout the city in response to COVID-19.
This proclamation initially included Denver breweries, and liquor stores among others under the non-essential tag, meaning that all would be required to cease services including beer-to-go and delivery beginning tomorrow, Tuesday, March 24 at 5pm.
The announcement resulted in a flood of Denver residents flocking to liquor stores across the city with places like Molly’s Liquors and Argonaut Wine & Spirits seeing lines around the block.
At 5pm the City and County of Denver published an update via their social media pages walking back restrictions announcing that liquor stores, marijuana dispensaries, and construction operations would be deemed exempt with the provision that they practiced extreme social distancing.
Then two hours later, Ryan Haarer of 9News first reported via Twitter that the City of Denver further updated their restrictions to allow Denver breweries to continue beer delivery and selling beer to-go. While no official update has been issued by the City of Denver, the Colorado Brewers Guild, which has been working with the City and County of Denver throughout this process, has interpreted today’s decision to the conclusion that Denver breweries may remain open for production and sales of beer to-go and beer deliveries.
Through correspondence obtained from Ryan Haarer of 9News, Eric Escudero, Director of Communications for the City and County of Denver’s Department of Excise and Licenses stated via email, “Breweries can continue to allow delivery/to-go orders.”*
The Colorado Brewers Guild also shared the following interpretation through an email to their member breweries.
The Executive Order issued by the City of Denver leaves even more ambiguity in terms of what beer manufacturers can and cannot do at this time. While we applaud the City’s efforts to do its best for public safety, the rushed order has provided additional confusion amongst the industry, and likely does nothing beyond what was already in force state-wide.
After the initial Executive Order, we worked with our industry partners to ask for clarity. Through our combined efforts, the Mayor updated his order to allow liquor stores to be considered exempt and they will remain open. We have also been working with the Mayor’s office to show that per FDA, CDPHE, and DDPHE, beer is considered food, which allows you to fall under the guidance provided for restaurants.
While confusing, under the current order, it is our position that you can continue to run your business as you were until further notice. This includes:
- You can continue to manufacture beer, given that you are supplying to an essential business;
- If you prepare and sell food, you can continue to offer delivery and to-go orders; and
- If you are a manufacturing brewery, you are able to deliver and sell to-go, because beer is considered food per the FDA and CDPHE.
This is further backed up from communication with 9News which received clarity with from the City of Denver’s Department of Excise and Licensing Department stating that “breweries can continue to allow delivery/to-go orders.”
To ensure that you are in compliance, it is extremely important to continue to practice social distancing measures that were put into place last week. Please let us know immediately if you are contacted by any authority regarding your business practices.
We will continue to engage with the City and Mayor’s office to provide clarity and a manageable playing field for all industry members. We will follow up with any updates as we receive them.
*This article has been updated to reflect an updated statement obtained by 9News from the City and County of Denver’s Department of Excise and Licenses