Brewery cups

Attaboy Beer taproom employee Lindsey Vernon pours a beer into a disposable cup Friday evening at the Frederick brewery. In light of the threat of a spreading coronavirus, the brewery was taking the step of switching from glasses to compostable cups in the taproom.

Some will use new cups, some will change their hours and some are shutting down their taprooms entirely.

Breweries throughout the state have all reacted differently to the growing concerns over COVID-19. But they’re all making changes.

“We’re like anyone else and need to take care of our customers and our employees, but we also still need to make payroll,” said Dave Blackmon, Smoketown Creekside and Smoketown Brewing Station owner.

Blackmon’s Frederick location, Smoketown Creekside, will be expanding hours from March 16 to 27 and will begin opening at noon each day.

Blackmon said increased telecommuting led him to expand the hours, hoping residents will want to get out of the house for a few hours during the day.

Blackmon has also implemented an online ordering and takeout service for residents who don’t want to spend time around others in the taproom but still want to get beer from the brewery. Crowlers, growlers and packs of cans will be available for pickup.

Blackmon also said his breweries will incorporate the option of plastic cups or traditional glasses, although no one will be pressured to use either, he said.

Attaboy Brewing made the switch to use strictly compostable cups in an effort to limit exposure to employees and customers, said co-owner Carly Ogden.

“Using one-time-use cups is not something we would like to do long term because of the environmental impact, but at the moment we think it is the best option,” Ogden said.

The brewery also added sanitizing door handles to its hourly to-do list, Ogden said. The brewery suspended flights, and will use small paper cups to offer tasting for customers. They’re also encouraging customers to wait for brewery staff to clean and spray tables before sitting at the table, and asking all customers to dispose of their food rather than leave it on the table for staff to clear. They are also launching online ordering, and planned to roll it out Friday afternoon.

Ogden said there hasn’t been a dip in business as of yet, but they are wary of the situation and the effect it could have on the bottom line. She said they chose to stay open mostly out of necessity.

“We actually don’t have the luxury to shut down prematurely and continue to pay our staff, rent, loan payments, etc. Just as many small businesses in the area, we don’t run with a lot of cushion,” Ogden said. “We’re going to do everything we can to stay open, serve people in a safe manner, and heed all direction from the governor as it comes.”

Other breweries posted their plans for the immediate future on their social media pages.

Olde Mother Brewing, Idiom Brewing and Rockwell Brewery will all serve their beer in plastic cups and open with normal business hours.

These changes come on the heels of Flying Dog Brewing announcing Wednesday the closing of its taproom and canceling all events.

Follow Allen Etzler on Twitter: @AllenWEtzler.

Allen Etzler is a city editor at the Frederick News-Post. He can be reached at aetzler@newspost.com.

(1) comment

Joeseamhead

I feel for the breweries, and all small businesses, and their staffs. My wife and I frequent the breweries, and pubs, especially the ones that have live music. That said, we are both in the age group of greater danger for the virus. Happy hour is at home until further notice for these two fun lovers.

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