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Tallahassee breweries, DBPR work towards COVID-19 shutdown solution

Posted at 5:19 PM, Aug 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-04 17:19:55-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation Halsey Beshears is meeting with bar and brewery owners across the state to see how the businesses can safely re-open, meaning you could be one step closer to visiting your favorite bar or brewery.

Brewery owners met with the Department of Business and Professional Regulation secretary Halsey Beshears on Saturday to explain how the current executive order is hurting business.

Now, they wait to see what comes next as other businesses pledge to support them.

With the exception of a three-week window, breweries and bars in Florida have mostly stayed shut since late March, hurting business in the process.

"It's been a rough year," said Byron Burroughs, the founder of Proof Brewing. "Our business model wasn't based on not having a tasting room."

As Florida continues to try to combat the spread of COVID-19, bars and breweries are only allowed to serve drinks to go and any establishment making more than half of its sales on food is asked to operate at half capacity.

With no end in sight for the restrictions, owners turned to Beshears for help.

"It was a productive meeting," Burroughs said.

In a meeting between the DBPR secretary and owners of Proof, Ology, Lake Tribe, and Deep Brewing, ideas were stirred up to help those businesses out.

"Mostly hearing the director out, everyone trying to decide what the safe path going forward will be," said Burroughs. "Reduced capacity, reduced hours of operations, adding in food. Any protocol to keep the staff and patrons as safe as we can."

As the owners wait to see what the DBPR will do, other business owners are doing what they can to bring in more business for the breweries.

"We started a few weeks ago in July doing local brewery spotlights," said Justine Spells, the co-owner of Railroad Square Crafthouse.

Railroad Square Crafthouse is giving those businesses a week of attention, bringing in their drinks, and encouraging diners to support the local business.

"It's really really hurt them and we're just trying to do something to boost their sales and do what we can to help the community," Spells said.

Beshears will continue to meet with business owners across the state. There's no direct timeline for a change in policy.