Test Kitchen: How to Prep for Phase One Reopen

Brewer Magazine possesses the only “Test Kitchen” in the craft beer publishing community. This 1.5 barrel brewhouse utilizes current and former clients for the purpose of testing equipment, ingredients and services. Look for our Test Kitchen articles in future print issues and online.

As we begin the descension back into a “normal” lifestyle post-pandemic it’s impossible to even fathom the appearance of our day-to-day business. 

Here in Kentucky, we’ve been asked for a multitude of things to prepare us to reopen. At least being in the brewing industry we’re already used to red tape flying at us around every corner. Regardless, one aspect we must develop is a safety plan that must be submitted before our taproom opening again. 

These safety guidelines aren’t necessarily standard — well, some are — and therefore we have to begin designing a strategy ourselves. 

Two of the mandatory guidelines in Kentucky involve wearing masks at all times — that’ll be tough for beverage consumption, but that’s neither here nor there. We will also have to purchase forehead temperature readers to test every employee before opening. I will suggest if you haven’t gotten in front of this and purchased one yet, do so before continuing this blog. 

I’m sure many of you are jotting down ideas and maybe have come up with some more intense strategies, but if you haven’t I wanted to share with you the beginnings of my lists — this is in no way finalized or complete, but a good place to start; I also borrowed some of the ideas from strategies laid out by Montana: 

2020 Reopening Strategy: Phase 1 (Yes, this will be in phases): 

  • Cut taproom capacity in half. For example, we adjusted our capacity from 46 inside to 23, and our patio/beer garden to 24 patrons. 
  • Employees must take temperature before the beginning of a shift. 
  • Always wear gloves and face masks (PPE) — there’s no point in arguing whether gloves are better than washing and hand sanitizer so we recommend washing, hand sanitizer then putting the gloves on. 
  • Sanitize and wash hands regularly — meaning any time gloves are taken off. 
  • Do not reuse gloves. 
  • Always use new glasses for each pour — this is actually mandatory anyhow to preserve the best beer appearance and flavor. 
  • Dip glass in sanitizer before rinse and pour — that’s not a normal step as they are all sanitized prior anyhow, but it’s an additional safety precaution. 
  • Sanitize ice scoop before use. 
  • Change 3-tier sink water every hour or as temperature drops. 
  • No flights or flight glasses as tasters. Use 10oz glasses for tasters; don’t use the same taster glass for a different pour. This is simply because our tasters are already difficult to clean and it’s another precaution. 
  • Absolutely no seating at the bar. 
  • Patrons must stand at the designated spaces to order drinks at the bar. (The Montana rules actually recommended table service and no one being near the bar)
  • Clean and sanitize tables after each customer (This is also normal, but we have to showcase rules).
  • No menus or clutter of any kind on the bar or tables. 
  • No more using cuttery or fruit for cocktails or garnishes. 
  • No more games or video game consoles. 
  • Attempt to eliminate congregating (We know this is hard because as an owner it’s not your responsibility to direct people and you don’t create a negative environment for patrons). 
  • No outdoor games either. 
  • Sanitize all new and reused growlers before fill (Also a prior rule, but just to be clear). 

As I mentioned this is a base list. Our taproom manager has an ongoing list as well. I urge you to have a socially distanced meeting with staff to discuss rules and develop strong strategies. I have a strong feeling we will all be judged by our breakdowns and you don’t want to be the only brewery in your state unopened because you blew off the reopening submissions. If you don’t have these guidelines or necessities for reopening in your state, good for you! Just know everyone in Kentucky is annoyed with your freedom.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.