Sonoma County wineries get advantage over breweries under California’s latest public health order

23 July 2020

When Gov. Gavin Newsom rolled back business activities last week to combat a resurgence of the coronavirus, wineries ended up with an advantage over other alcohol purveyors in being allowed to continue selling wine tastings outside without having to also serve meals.

There was no such break for breweries and distilleries, under the July 13 state order that applied to Sonoma County and at least 30 other counties struggling to contain the virus. Instead, they are required to provide meals along with the beer and spirits they serve outside to customers.

With indoor service halted for at least three weeks, that has forced them to arrange for food trucks to set up on their properties or vendors to prepare box lunches and meals to sell to customers. Either action places an additional financial burden on operators of area brewpubs and distilleries and a new wrinkle for their workers.

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