It’s tough to imagine having COVID-19 under control in this country anytime soon, so, like everybody else right now, my wife and I have been making adjustments for the long haul. As local restaurants and breweries reopen for on-site business up here in Sonoma County, we’re finally faced with the option of venturing out. For the past few months, we’ve been focused on curbside pickup at the handful of local breweries we really want to have around when this is all over—which seems dire, but probably isn’t. Our biggest city here is Santa Rosa, known to many as home to Russian River Brewing Co., and the hospitality industry is a very big part of life. In a recent CBS article, the CEO of the Santa Rosa Metro Chamber mentioned we’d be lucky to lose only 40% of the city’s restaurants. But he expected most to shut for good.
The next year is going to be super challenging, even more so for small businesses relying on in-person interactions at the heart of their business model. Things are just now reopening as I’m typing this from Sonoma County, and one of the main things we’re discussing with our friends is how to balance these new options with keeping the folks in our pod (or bubble, or whatever quaranteam term you prefer) safe. Our pod includes our closest friends’ parents, so we’ve been erring on the side of caution. Curbside, delivery, masks, meet for beers outside… But dear god do I want to sit at a bar and drink beer and chat random shit with strangers.
How’s reopening been going in your area? Have you been venturing out to local breweries or restaurants yet? Folks masking up? Get in touch on Twitter via @RareBeerClub.