How Local Breweries are Taking Initiatives to Prevent the Spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Coronavirus (COVID-19) has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO). Here is how breweries and beer lovers can do their part in preventing the spread of Coronavirus.
By Clara Jaide on Mar. 13, 2020
It’s no secret that the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has had a good percentage of planet Earth in mass hysteria. From a decline in the sales of Corona beer hoax (we, and Constellation Brands, can assure you Corona beer is not linked to coronavirus) to insane toilet paper hoarding, it has had quite a few people fly off the rails.
However, many businesses are taking the necessary initiatives to stop and/or prevent the spread of coronavirus. While some businesses are taking preventative measures by encouraging social distancing and offering remote working alternatives, businesses like breweries have other ideas set in play.
How Breweries Were Cracking Down on Cleanliness Amidst Coronavirus Pandemic
In light of the recent health and safety precautions provided by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), breweries were cracking down on cleanliness and procedures. Suspending the filling of growlers was a popular measure many breweries are taking. Breweries like Four Winds Brewing Company in Delta, British Columbia, and The Dandy Brewing Company, Annex Ale Project and Prairie Dog Brewing in Calgary, Alberta had all taken this initiative immediately. This initiative came soon after popular coffee shops Tim Hortons and Starbucks announce the discontinuing of the use of reusable cups.
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GROWLER FILL PROGRAM SUSPENDED // It’s a crazy time in the world right now and we’re following suggestions from Health Canada to the public and businesses about maintaining the health and wellbeing of our employees and customers. So with that we regretfully put all growler fills on hold. We will not be filling any growlers until further notice. We will still be selling packaged products out of our fridge so there will be ways for you to take beer home with you when you come and visit. Thanks for understanding and we’re sorry about any inconvenience this may cause you. #fourwindsbrewing #nomorefills #growlerfills
“We don’t have control [over] how people treat their growlers or where they’re keeping them or how they’re cleaned.” Ben Leon, the co-founder of The Dandy Brewing tells Livewire Calgary, “Just for the safety of our staff, other customers, we’re just not having that sort of variable in play.”
Prairie Dog Brewing is no longer accepting cash at their location due to the bacteria bills and coins can carry. “As of today we are cash-free and will not be refilling growlers.” The Calgary brewery said in a tweet. “We do have an exchange program for your good used Prairie Dog growler though. We will direct exchange it for a new/sanitized one!”
How Breweries are
Other breweries, such as Banded Peak Brewing, are closing their taprooms all together for the safety of the public. This is currently the recommended route for most pubs, restaurants, bars, breweries and wineries and we are likely to see more brewery closures in the days to come.
How Breweries Can Help Prevent the Spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Disclaimer: COVID-19 advisories are being updated daily. Please exercise caution and follow your local government’s protocols and advisories first. At JustBeer, we’re all for safety– but we are not a team of health professionals; the suggestions listed below are based on virus prevention research, but should not take precedence over health official and government safety measures.
View the World Health Organization’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) health advisories.
While closing taprooms and seating areas altogether is recommended to support the social distancing advisory, local breweries, brewpubs and restaurants that are choosing to remain open can help prevent and stop the spread of illness by doing the following:
How Breweries Can Help Prevent the Spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) Once They Re-Open
Discontinue the use of personal growlers or mugs and encourage the use of bottles, cans or disposable cups over beer glasses
We know, we know! Beer tastes way better in a glass! While it’s usually not a choice; we’re going to have to value our health and safety over the taste of an ice-cold glass of beer. Instead, you can have an ice-cold bottle of beer, or a can of beer, or a red solo cup of beer. The easier it is to dispose of an item that’s been in a potentially ill person’s mouth and hands and the fewer people it comes into contact with, the better.
Cleaning and disinfecting all surfaces/eating and drinking areas
Tables, chairs, bars and taps should all be cleaned and disinfected regularly. (More frequent cleans are highly suggested during this time). If surfaces are dirty, they should be cleaned using a detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection. Click here for a bleach solution disinfectant mix recommended by the CDC.
If you’re a beer drinker buying cans and bottles,
it’d be a good idea to wash and sanitize the outside before consuming them.
Wash the outside of your beer cans and bottles as you would produce. Soap and water work great, but if you’re looking for some alternatives, check out the CDC’s cleaning and infection recommendations.
Wipe down and disinfect frequently touched areas of the brewery (a.k.a. “bacteria/virus hot spots”)
This includes door handles, beer taps, sink taps, automatic door buttons, menus, ATMs, and most importantly, debit machines– especially if you’re following suit from Prairie Dog Brewing and going cash-free!
Encourage frequent hand-washing and hygiene amongst staff and customers
At this point with all the reminders to wash your hands, we’re sure your skin is cracking just reading this– but it is worth saying again. Encourage everyone that comes in the premises to wash their hands for at least 20 seconds per wash. This can be done with signage and hand sanitization/wash stations or by just yelling “Wash your hands!” from behind the bar at every customer that comes in the door. (You’ll probably want to go with former. Seems more professional.)
Encourage staff (and customers) to stay home when they feel sick
Of course, we know everyone’s situation is different and this may not be feasible for everyone for a variety of reasons, but encouraging brewery staff and customers to stay home when sick is one of the number one ways to prevent the spread of illness. Having a contingency plan for if a staff member contracts the virus or an infected customer visits the brewery is strongly advised. It’s times like these that we can appreciate SkiptheDishes offering liquor delivery.
For more information or ways that you can help prevent the spread of COVID-19, visit the CDC’s website.
Coronavirus Resources / Government Safety Advisories by Country:
Canada | United States | World Health Organization
What is Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
While there are many types of coronaviruses– this new Coronavirus, COVID-19, is a respiratory illness that started in China.
How is Coronavirus spread?
Coronavirus is spread from person to person. The virus is considered “airborne” which means it is commonly spread through particles in the air from an infected person entering the body of a healthy person, commonly through eyes, nose and mouth. It is also considered a community spread which means people have been infected with the virus in a particular area, including some people who are not sure how or where they became infected. It is crucial at this time to be frequently washing your hands and avoid touching your face.
What are the symptoms of Coronavirus?
The most common symptoms of coronavirus are: fever, dry cough, fatigue and shortness of breath. These symptoms are quite similar to the average cold/flu which often gets mistaken for coronavirus. Remember the only real way to tell is through a diagnosis from a doctor.
For more information on Coronavirus, see the Coronavirus awareness page by the Government of Canada.
If you or a loved one has visited an affected area and suspects that you have contracted coronavirus, stay home and call HealthLink (8-1-1) or (+1 (905) 828-0917) to speak to a medical professional. You are advised not to visit the emergency room/urgent care for the risk of further spreading the virus.
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