Breweries grateful for Washington’s new open air dining rules

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VANCOUVER, WA (KPTV) — Washington’s COVID-19 rules now allow for some indoor seating in open-air settings, and breweries in Vancouver are taking full advantage of the change.

“People are maybe able to watch the football game and kinda get some shelter from the outdoors,” Jason Bos, one of the owners at Brothers Cascadia Brewing, said.

In addition to their outdoor setup, now with their bay door open, they can seat about 20 more people inside.

“We’re also very appreciative of the state looking at the science, making sure our customers were gonna be safe but also giving us the opportunity to have more customers safely enjoy beer and food,” Jason said.

The state’s new rules allow for four types of open-air concepts, one of which includes having at least one permeable wall like open bay doors, as long as the indoor capacity is limited to 25 percent and the business monitors CO2 levels.

“Professionally and personally, it’s a godsend,” Jeff Seibel said. He and his wife Amy Seibel own Ghost Runners Brewery. “We’re getting back to our normal day to day operations being open for lunch as well as open for dinner on the weekends.”

They said even in the past several days of having a limited number of customers inside, they’re almost back to the level of sales they saw pre COVID-19 restrictions.

“The first two or three days, what was normal or not normal, in outdoor only dining to this open-air concept it doubled if not tripled,” Jeff said.

He said the Washington Brewers Guild was influential in helping to make this change and they think it was a good idea all the way around.

“We just feel like this is a safer better way to go because of the airflow and because our beer tenders can see our customers and vice versa,” Amy said.

They’re in the process of expanding, and they hope by summer they’ll be able to have even more customers.