Three of the area’s newest craft breweries plan to reopen their taprooms or outdoor patios Friday, while many others are taking a wait-and-see approach.
An executive order by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott allows bars, taprooms and wine tasting rooms across the state to reopen Friday at 25 percent building occupancy, with the goal of boosting an economy that has suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic. The local breweries taking advantage of the opportunity are New Magnolia Brewing Co. at 1616 Bevis St. in Shady Acres, Urban South Brewery HTX at 1201 Oliver St. in Sawyer Yards and Walking Stick Brewing Company at 956 Judiway St. in Garden Oaks.
Each of the three breweries will open for on-site consumption, while utilizing outdoor seating and implementing social distancing guidelines, at noon Friday. New Magnolia and Walking Stick will serve draft beer in plastic cups as opposed to glasses. Urban South HTX, which opened in late February and had to temporarily close less than a month later because of the pandemic, said in a news release that it will keep its indoor taproom closed and sell cans only.
“We are so excited to see all of our old friends and new fans soon, and look forward to welcoming folks back to our space,” Urban South HTX general manager Dave Ohmer said.
According to recent social media posts, several other craft brewers in the area plan to keep their taprooms closed for the time being and continue operating with to-go sales only. Among them are Astral Brewing (4816 N. Shepherd Dr. Suite A), Brash Brewing Company (508 W. Crosstimbers Rd.), Eureka Heights Brew Co. (941 W. 18th St.), Great Heights Brewing Company (938 Wakefield Dr.) and Holler Brewing Co. (2206 Edwards St.).
“We would love nothing more than to be able to open this weekend. But we want to play it safe and see where we are as a community in a few weeks,” Astral Brewing wrote in a Wednesday Facebook post. “For the time being, we will continue selling beer to-go only. We are genuinely grateful for everyone’s support and look forward to having you back in our taproom soon.”
The three other breweries in the area — Buffalo Bayou Brewing Co. (2101 Summer St.), Karbach Brewing Co. (2032 Karbach St.) and Platypus Brewing (1902 Washington Ave. Suite E) — already have opened for on-site consumption since they also sell food and can be considered restaurants. Restaurants were allowed to open their dining rooms at 25 percent occupancy on May 1, and they can increase capacity to 50 percent on Friday.
For more information, visit the website or social media pages for each brewery.