Imagine that your favorite sports team is in an important playoff game. Kinda easy with the NBA playoffs on, right? Now imagine that midway through the 1st quarter, the referees change the rules, but just for your team. You grumble, then adapt. Then the rules change again and even more in favor of your opponent. You might begin to ask if a higher power doesn’t want you to win.
That is what breweries operating in Los Angeles County are facing. You can read THIS or you can read THAT and it is clear that the safety intentioned rules are seriously undermining craft breweries in this county.
Now, if the County Board of Supervisors, City of Los Angeles or State of California would mitigate the revenue loss, that would be one thing. But, unless I have missed it, I have not seen any rent help, property tax help, loan on brewing equipment help, etc. from any of those three entities. What I have seen is classifying restaurants as OK and breweries and bars as not OK.
Don’t read into this a rush to re-open. What I propose is going back to to-go only for all food and beverage and financial aid packages to those business operators who will take the subsequent hit for that action. This virus does not know the difference between a brewery with a restaurant and a brewery with no restaurant. If a sick person goes into the former and a healthy one, the latter, that doesn’t make one safer than the other.
Labeling breweries as “bad” might slow the virus by percentage points, but this patchwork of changing rules is clearly not working. Also, having Los Angeles County as California’s only county not allowing breweries to open for at least socially distant patio seating is basically telling people to drive north or south and sending their wallets with them.
It is an election year so let the L.A. County Board of Supervisors know that you want things changed. You can find all the contact information HERE. Let them know that our craft beer community is in serious danger.
On to happier news. Despite the pandemic bumming us all out, beer has found a way to sprout. Party Beer Co. recently opened in the West Adams district of Los Angeles and though the full party cannot be fully realized as envisioned, there is still new beer from a practiced hand of the L.A. beer scene. Lee Bakofsky who was at Eagle Rock Brewery is at the helm and ran out of the gate strong if the two beers I tasted are any indication. Both Pizza Cat Pilsner and Destroyer of Worlds Hazy IPA are solid and merit a look at the other beers in the line-up that will grow to include hard seltzers as well.
One note in between great and dire. There is no Avocado Fest at Angel City Brewery in DTLA this year, but you can still buy the newly silver clad cans of their Avocado Ale; with each purchase you will get an avocado recipe to pair with the beer. The Kölsch style ale is made with California-grown avocados, honey, cilantro and lime juice.