*Photo Credit - The Good Wolf
It's inevitable, whenever and wherever I travel one of my first Google searches prior to heading out on the road is to find out which breweries are nearby. What can I say? As more and more craft breweries pop up across the country I have a desire to check them out. It's highly intriguing to not only taste the beers and see how styles differ from region to region but also how uniquely appealing the breweries themselves are to the eye. The latter is especially true as many of them inhabit older buildings from a bygone era that they have refurbished and brought back to life. An added factor that is totally fascinating and makes for an excellent craft beer drinking atmosphere.
Quarantine Shuts Down Breweries & Empties Out Ski Towns
Sadly, as a result of our current Covid-19 quarantine, visiting these craft breweries is, currently, no longer an option. The government has limited large gatherings of any type for the time being, and, quite honestly, the foreseeable future. Ski towns have been hit very hard by this current status. Many have become ghost towns, forced to close up shop roughly a month or more earlier than normal. "It's so ridiculously quiet on route 100," says Walter Bansley owner of the new Snow Republic Brewery near Mount Snow, Vermont. "We aren't canning yet but are working on a few food/growler collabs with local restaurants so people can still drink our beers."
Continue to Drink Your Favorite Craft Beer From Ski Town Breweries
With the obvious connection between craft beer and the ski industry, there are an abundance of breweries like Snow Republic in and around ski towns that can use your support. Just because you cannot gather at the brewery that does not mean you cannot continue to drink their tasty craft beer under today's less-than-normal-circumstances. Fortunately for you, many breweries are offering curbside pickup and/or have their craft beer available in liquor stores. With that in mind, here are a few of our favorite breweries that we visited this winter that are offering craft beer to go. Follow along on their Facebook pages and/or Instagram to stay informed on how you can get there craft beer and stay hydrated during these trying times.
Cans a Crowlers Available at Vermont Craft Breweries
Beer Naked Brewery and Pizzapalooza in Marlboro, Vermont was originally closed as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak. However, thanks to a shipment of cans that recently arrived, their beers are now available for takeout along with their full regular pizza menu. This will ultimately allow you to take in that beautiful view from the brewery while you are there picking up your order
Whetstone Station Restaurant and Brewery in Brattleboro is arguably my favorite brew pub thanks to their amazing view on the Connecticut River and delicious food that accompanies their craft beer. Taking in the view while dining there has to take a back seat for a while but they still have you covered under quarantine. Whetstone is offering their tasty menu and craft beer in crowlers for curbside pickup Thursday-Sunday from noon-8.
Hermit Thrush Brewery also located in Brattleboro is the king of sour beers in Vermont. Admittedly, I'm not a sour beer guy but theirs are really really good and now available for curbside pickup at the brewery. I have also seen them in several liquor stores throughout the state and they are currently working on setting up online ordering to be able to deliver directly to your home.
Chautauqua and Cattaraugus County, New York Breweries
Five & 20 Spirits and Brewing located in Westfield, NY is the triple threat of alcohol goodness for your quarantine drinking activities. Actually, in today's time, it's more like quadruple threat. Not only do they have their wines, spirits, craft beer available for online orders and curbside pickup, they are even making hand sanitizer (limit one per person) so you can keep your hands germ free while drinking it.
Ellicottville Brewing Company in the amazing ski town of Ellicottville, NY is an apres ski hot spot. Unfortunately that is just not the case these days thanks to the shutdown. The good news though is that their brews are pretty widely available across upstate NY and even Pennsylvania so you should be able to get your hands on them pretty regularly.
Craft Breweries in Truckee, California
*Photo Credit - The Good Wolf
The Good Wolf is Truckee's newest brewery. Having had their grand opening in February, they were only open a short time prior to shutting down as a result of the pandemic. The timing is a bit unfortunate, however they have been hustling behind the scenes and acquired cans that just became available to the public last weekend. I suggest you hurry though! Their 17 oz cans (yes, 17 because everyone needs and extra ounce these days) sold out pretty quickly and at the moment they only have 12 oz 6 packs for curbside pickup.
FiftyFifty Brewing Company along with their sister restaurant Drunken Monkey are operating on overdrive during this crisis. Yes, of course, you can get their craft beer curbside, but that's just the beginning. They are also offering groceries, take and heat meals, burgers and pre-made cocktails for delivery right to your doorstep. Hell, their very own, Old Trestle Distillery, is even offering hand sanitizer. Talk about one stop shop.
Reno, Nevada Craft Breweries
Side note on the Reno breweries, their governor has really put the clamps on them by ordering all breweries that don't serve food with a full kitchen to close down. This nonsensical technicality may be the reality of the situation but don't worry there is always a way.
Imbib Custom Brews does not have a full kitchen and therefore has been directly affected by Governor Sisolak's shutdown. No worries, that just means that they cannot sell you their beer. They can, however, give it to you. In an effort to take the positive route on this situation, Imbib is giving away free beer to the general public and, more importantly, first responders. The only thing that they ask in return is for a donation to help pay their employees.
The Depot Craft Brewery Distillery is a full service restaurant as well as a craft brewery and distillery and therefore not subject to a complete shutdown. As a result, they are hosting what they call Dock Sales. On Fridays from 4-7 pm, you can stock up for the weekend (or whole week, if you're smart) with spirits, canned beer, bottled beer, kegs and growlers. They too are also producing hand sanitizer that you'll receive a bottle of with every $25 purchase.
Lead Dog Brewing Company has also been subject to a full shutdown but starting this week you will, once again, be able to drink their beer at home. Through a new, creative partnership with Rue Bourbon in Midtown Reno they will be offering free delivery. Just order through the Lead Dog Brewing site by 1 pm and their exclusive delivery partner, Rue Bourbon, will delivery it to your door the same day.
Utah Craft Breweries
Roosters Brewing Company is one of my Ogden, Utah favorites not only for their delicious food but their creative and tasty beers both of which are still available during these crazy times. Through their new online app you'll be able to place your order for curbside pickup at all three of their locations. And for every takeout order of $25 or more, you'll receive a free $10 gift certificate to use at any of their locations or their partner restaurant, Union Grill.
Templin Family Brewing is relatively new to the Salt Lake City craft beer scene and their beers are damn good. The atmosphere at the brewery itself is fantastic with tons of open space and communal tables to encourage festive conversation. Not exactly ideal for an international pandemic but I definitely encourage you to pay them a visit when they open back up. In the meantime, give them a call and they'll fill you up a crowler and/or have cans of your favorite German style beers ready and waiting for pickup.