Breweries to reopen, but governor warns COVID-19 risks remain

On Thursday, the governor called the COVID-19 news over the last week a “mixed bag,” but did announce another slight reopening of the economy, allowing breweries to reopen on a limited basis beginning on Friday. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said breweries would be able to take part in a “soft opening” on Friday, which would include outdoor and patio service, and expand to indoor service on Monday. The breweries would need to abide by COVID-safe precautions, similar to those in place for restaurants. The similarity with restaurants is one reason why the governor said breweries were free to reopen but bars would be open at a later date. Related: 121 additional cases and 10 additional related deaths due to COVID-19

No more than six people will be allowed at tables, while tables themselves will need to be distanced.

Councilor wants to encourage more local beers at local events

Local breweries may have a chance to get themselves in front of more local drinkers if an Albuquerque city councilor has his way. Councilor Don Harris told New Mexico Political Report that his proposal would require Albuquerque venues to make a concerted effort to serve local beers, but that they would not be micromanaged. “It gives the organizer a lot of discretion,” Harris said about how venues would decide which beers to serve.Harris said he began “Seeing that in, some cases, there was no participation by local breweries” at many local events. Chris Jackson, the editor of the Dark Side Brew Crew, a website focused on New Mexico breweries, told New Mexico Political Report that legislation like this could be great for the local beer scene and could put New Mexico on the map as a “beercation destination.”

“Anything you can do to get exposure beyond word of mouth would be a good thing,” Jackson said. Jackson added that right now local breweries work together on “united front” to raise awareness of local brews.