Updated – Good news for breweries and bars: Moving to Phase 3



No, things will not look like that picture above, but this is a significant change to the current protocols. Washington is moving to Phase 3 on Monday, March 22.

UPDATE (Wednesday, March 17, 3:00 P.M.)

From the Washington Brewers Guild:


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Effective March 22, the entire state will move to Phase 3 of the Healthy Washington plan. To help you prepare, the Governor’s office has now released updated “Eating & Drinking Establishments” guidance, which applies to breweries and other licensees.

The major changes found in the guidance are:

  • Indoor dining capacity allowed at 50%
  • Table size increased to 10 with no household restrictions
  • Alcohol service and deliveries allowed until 12am

In addition to these major changes, there were recent modifications to the temporary food menu requirements for on-premise service. Breweries are required to offer food on-site by meeting at least one of the following options:


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a. Onsite food: At a minimum, food service should include a combination of small serving food items such as a mix of hors d’oeuvre type foods, cheeses, fruits, vegetables, deli-style meats, chips, pretzels, nuts, popcorn, crackers, or similar items. Food may be prepackaged for individual sale and consumption or prepared off-site for plating for the customer. 

OR

b. Offsite food: Customers may bring food from an outside business. The liquor licensee must post in a visible place, a list of multiple local restaurants or food trucks where customers can purchase food during hours of operation. The list shall include names, addresses, contact information, and hours of operation for each restaurant or food truck named.

UPDATE (Friday, March 12 – 3:07 P.M.) From the Washington Brewers Guild:

During Phase 3, breweries and other eating and drinking establishments are permitted to offer indoor service at 50% capacity. Additionally, the cut-off for alcohol service will move to midnight.

We’re working with the Governor’s office on updating the Phase 3 guidance, including any potential changes to table party sizes and potential use of bar seating. The guidance will be available next week. 

What we do know now is that social distancing, and mask wearing (while not consuming beverages or food) will still be required. The new and improved on-site food requirements will continue into Phase 3.

Phase 3 will also include some new opportunities for events and spectator sports. Events must follow Phase 3 “Weddings, Funerals, and Events” guidance (TBD) and will be limited to 50% capacity and capped at 400 people maximum. Larger venue events, including sports venues, can open at 25% occupancy or up to 9,000 people, whichever is less. Next week, we will have more information for you from the LCB on Special Occasion License events COVID-19 policies.

ORIGINAL POST (Thursday, March 11 – 6:45 P.M.)

This afternoon Governor Jay Inslee announced that on March 22nd Washington moves to Phase 3 of the state’s phased re-opening plan.

“We know there is enthusiasm around the opening of schools and businesses and that advancing to Phase 3 is welcome news to many Washingtonians,” Inslee said during a press conference Thursday.  “Because of the progress we’ve made by decreasing our case rates and hospitalizations, as well as our tremendous efforts to get more people vaccinated, our reopening plan is once again based on counties, not regions.”

But what does Phase 3 mean for breweries, taprooms, bars, and restaurants? The Washington Brewers Guild continues to work with Governor Inslee’s office to update the Phase 3 guidance for eating and drinking establishments. The Guild promises to share more information as additional details become available, probably as early as tomorrow. We’ll provide updates here.

For now, here are some highlights regarding what this means.

Perhaps the biggest news, breweries, bars, and restaurants can increase capacity to 50 percent under Phase 3. Alcohol service cut-off will move to midnight.

The state Department of Health will evaluate metrics every three weeks. Rather than the current regional approach, the metrics will be measured county by county. The metrics to remain in Phase 3 are as follows:

Larger Counties: 

  • New COVID cases per 100,000 population per 14 days less than 200
  • New COVID hospitalizations per 100,000 population per 7 days less than 5

Smaller Counties (Less than 50,000 people):

  • New COVID cases over 14 days less than 30
  • New COVID hospitalizations over 7 days less than 3


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