Responsible consumption in a time of crisis is possible. Frankly, it might be a little necessary. So let’s get the bad news out of the way: it’s too late to hit the bar. Even if your local watering hole is still open and operating at a reduced capacity, pubs are petri dishes of potential community spread. It’s time to embrace the best place in the world to drink—at home.
Now for the good news! It’s not too late to grab some beer to-go. Most San Diego breweries have adjusted their operations to accommodate this massive shift in consumer behavior, as have many San Diego restaurants. Small businesses need our support now more than ever, so if you need to replenish your refrigerator with some local brews, here’s how to do it a bit more responsibly.
Make sure the brewery is currently operating
Many breweries like Bear Roots Brewing Company and Modern Times are closing altogether until further notice. Others, like Newtopia Cyder, have closed their tasting rooms for onsite consumption and have reduced hours to provide to-go purchases only. You can place an order with Longship Brewery via phone or email and it’ll be ready at their front door in 10 minutes. Thorn Brewing set up a clever drive-thru at their Barrio Logan location, with plans to possibly extend the service. There’s no guidebook for how to deal with a pandemic and things are changing by the hour, so check with the individual brewery or refer to this handy list by the Beer Night in San Diego podcast before heading out. It’s also a good idea to wash your hands.
See they’ve addressed what’s going on
If you’re scanning your favorite brewery’s social media and they’re acting blasé about COVID-19, don’t go there. There are over 150 breweries in San Diego and this is a super easy way to weed out the bad ones. Pretending this outbreak isn’t serious won’t diminish your risk—only your credibility. Also, wash your hands.
Take advantage of beer delivery
Bring the tasting room to your living room by getting your beer delivered. Coronado Brewing Company now uses GrubHub, Karl Strauss is on DoorDash, Bottlecraft can be found on Postmates, and so on. Tip your delivery person generously, and wash your hands.
If you do venture out, don’t be stupid
Wipe down your credit cards with disinfectant and avoid using cash. (A lot of places aren’t even accepting cash right now.) Get in, get your beer to-go, and get home. And if you have so much as a tickle in the back of your throat, just assume you are compromised and act accordingly. There is no beer on planet Earth worth infecting other people over.
If you’re pretty well stocked up for the moment, consider purchasing some merchandise or gift cards online to help keep your favorite independent brewery afloat. For some people, that may be a hardship, thanks to the unforeseen interruption of some income streams. But if you still have some disposable income to put toward craft beer, every little bit will help. We’re all in this together now—cheers and good luck.