Food Service Requirement To Be Removed For California Breweries, Wineries & Distilleries Starting This Weekend

March 11, 2021

The California Department of Public Health has removed the requirement that breweries, wineries and distilleries can only open if they provide food starting this weekend. 

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in California almost a year ago this week, there was a requirement that bars, breweries, wineries and distilleries could only be open to the public if they served food or contracted with a food provider. It was also required that patrons could only order adult beverages so long as they also purchased a meal. Starting on Saturday, March 13, breweries, wineries, and distilleries that do not serve food will be able to open to the public under certain conditions. Restaurants also will no longer have to require patrons to purchase food with alcoholic beverages so long as they are in the orange or yellow tiers. Bars that do not serve food must remain closed until San Diego County gets in the orange tier.  
The CA Department of Public Health has announced new temporary conditions that apply to beer, wine and spirits manufacturers that do not have a bona fide eating establishment and are currently operating in the Purple and Red tiers for reopening, including a 90 minute time limit per table, reservations being encouraged, all customers must remain seated unless using the rest room, and last call for onsite alcohol beverage service must be 8pm (to-go sales can continue as per normal hours). Brewery, wineries and distilleries with a bona fide restaurant component should continue to adhere to the restaurant guidelines for reopening and safe operation.

According to the California Department of Public Health's website, once the state distributes two million vaccine doses to the most vulnerable areas, which could come as early as Friday, March 12, the state will modify the metrics of California's Blueprint for a Safer Economy. This would most likely result in San Diego County being moved to California's less restrictive red tier on Tuesday, March 16, a year to the day from when San Diego first announced sweeping stay-at-home mandates. Once San Diego enters the red tier, the county is allowed to have indoor dining resume at reduced capacity, as well as limited indoor operations at gyms, movie theaters, museums, places of worship, and more. San Diego County has been in California's most-stringent purple tier of COVID-19 restrictions since November 14, 2020.