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Colorado's breweries can open along with restaurants if they serve food

Breweries will have to get creative to allow on-site drinking. Gov. Polis said they could open, but with food trucks or with restaurant partnerships.

EDGEWATER, Colo. — The adult lemonade stand on the curb of Joyride Brewing is a creative way for the brewery push through the COVID-19 pandemic. But it isn’t enough to pay the bills.

Business at the brewery is down 70% even with beer offered curbside and through delivery, according to owner Dave Bergen.

Bergen, who is also the chair of the Colorado Brewers Guild was relieved Monday, when Gov. Jared Polis’ office announced some breweries would be able to open with restaurants on Wednesday, as long as they serve food prepared on-site through a food truck or through a neighboring restaurant.

“We always knew that this was going to be more like a dimmer switch than an on-off switch, so it’s good that we’re starting to turn that dimmer a little bit,” Bergen said.

Joyride already has partnerships with food trucks but is also working with Providence at 5280, a tavern down the street in Edgewater that serves food. That restaurant will backfill when food trucks can’t be at Joyride so the brewery can remain open.

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“We can have a doorman or a barback or something like that run that food down to them,” Providence owner Cody Ford told Next with Kyle Clark. Ford said while it may seem unusual for a bar and restaurant to partner with a brewery, all nearby businesses have been helping each out. Funds from a T-shirt Joyride sold went into a fund for assistance for all businesses in Edgewater.

“It’s good to have a chance to give back to them and open our kitchen to get them back open as well,” Ford said.

The move is necessary to help an industry struggling during the pandemic. Bergen said many breweries rely on business in their taprooms to keep them afloat.

In Mesa County, where a variance from the state’s Safer At Home order allowed brewpubs that serve food to welcome some customers back but not tasting rooms, those tasting rooms reported their to-go sales decreased by about 50%, Bergen said.

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