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Breweries, Wineries, and Distilleries Reopen in San Diego Under New Rules

Businesses can now operate outdoors without serving food

Front view of Pure Project’s tasting room in Bankers Hill
Pure Project Bankers Hill
Lucianna McIntosh

A big development over the weekend for breweries, wineries, and distilleries across the state, as the California Department of Public Health updated its reopening guidance to permit breweries, wineries, and distilleries to operate outdoors without having to serve food. Effective starting March 13, this applies to counties in the purple or red tier.

This is a particularly impactful shift for the local beer industry; for many months, breweries had only been able to open for outdoor service if they functioned as restaurants by serving food themselves or partnering with a food vendor. Said San Diego Brewers Guild executive director Paige McWey Acers by email, “Last year, as other alcohol manufacturers were exempted from serving food, breweries continued to assume the unfair burden of serving food, in order to remain open. The San Diego Brewers Guild advocated heavily and mightily to change the unfair treatment of craft breweries — this is a win for craft beer manufacturers who are critical to the San Diego economy. A win for San Diegans.

With the changes come some new rules: reservations will be required and visits limited to 90 minutes. And there’s an 8 p.m. curfew for these businesses.

However, bars in counties under the purple or red tier must still remain closed.