Reopening brewery taprooms – enjoying latest “open-air” seating guidelines

airways brewing company - taproom at the brewery.


Business owners, do your own research. Nobody should take my word as gospel, but the latest changes to the state’s pandemic guidelines should allow many brewery taprooms and other beer-friendly businesses to reopen for “inside” seating. That is, assuming they want to reopen and can meet the latest, revised “open-air” guidelines. (Above: Airways Brewing – the brewery’s taproom, doors open wide.)

Yesterday we shared the news about the new guidelines along with a message from the Washington Brewers Guild. You can see the actual guidelines here.

“Open the pod bay doors, Hal”

There’s a bunch of stuff to consider, but what’s new? In short, brewery taprooms with rollup doors or even a certain amount of open windows qualifies as “open-air” and could reopen at 25 percent capacity.

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Yes, there are some other requirements and it is certainly not as simple as “Open the pod bay doors” might make it sound, but this is a significant change. One important piece of the new open-air guidelines involves monitoring CO2 levels.

If you know of other brewery taprooms looking at reopening because of the recently updated guidelines, please share in the comments section below.

Airways Brewing announced the reopening of its taproom at the brewery in Kent. The status is weather-dependent, so keep an eye on the brewery’s social media channels. “Starting today (Jan. 13), we’re allowed to have limited seating again at our Tap Room & Brewery location. You’ll want to bundle up, because we’ll need to keep the bay doors open for airflow purposes. On days when there’s not heavy rain, we’ll also have outside seating options available as well… We’re limited to 25% capacity, so please be polite to our servers if they aren’t able to accommodate you. Tables are limited to parties of six or fewer.”

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Four Generals Brewing. Rollup is up

Up the road in Renton, Four Generals Brewing is also rolling up the doors. “With the latest State guidelines in place we now have limited tasting room seating (12 max) and patio stand up tables. Our roll up door will remain open, and our heaters are available on the patio. Please remember to wear a mask when you are not at your designated drinking spot, and continue to practice social distancing. Remember this is a fluid situation so standby for changes, but we will get through this together.”

Down in Olympia, Well 80 Brewhouse reports that, “We just got our CO2 monitor. It’s plugged in and we’re keeping an eye on it through today. All goes well, we plan to open our interior tomorrow (Jan. 14) at 25 percent capacity.”

Similar story up in Bellingham where Boundary Bay Brewery reports, “The team is currently still waiting on getting our Carbon dioxide monitors, but as soon as we have them we plan to open the Taproom (with the garage door open) here at Boundary Bay. It’s looking like this should happen by this weekend, if all goes to plan.”

As for you, all you lovely, considerate and intelligent beer consumers, don’t f*** it up. These new guidelines provide some more flexibility, but they also present some challenges, so be patient and be sympathetic to what brewery taprooms and other local businesses are going through to serve you while also keeping you and their employees safe. Follow the rules or stay home.

As for you, all you beautiful, talented and creative breweries, with regards to these new guidelines, to quote the Washington Brewers Guild, “We strongly recommend that you check with the LCB and/or your local health jurisdiction before making investments in renovations or changes to your space… While not perfect, we are very pleased to have more flexibility to offer safe, fresh air dining during the current indoor dining ban and appreciate the Governor’s office and state agencies taking our input into consideration as these guidelines were developed.”



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3 thoughts on “Reopening brewery taprooms – enjoying latest “open-air” seating guidelines

  1. I have seen posts from Brewing Savage (formerly Flycaster Brewery) in Kirkland and Beardslee Public House in Bothell that they will be opening their bay doors and allowing “open air seating.” Seating will be limited as it needs to be near the roll up door(s), and reservations recommended at Beardslee. Cheers!

  2. No-Li got the go-ahead a couple days ago to leave the brewery bay doors open and open the pub at 25%. There is still great, heated patio seating, but now you can get a booth!

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