Brewery owners begin to respond to latest setback

It’s back to patio-life-only for sitdown customers, plus takeout, starting this Monday at our state’s breweries.

The word came down Thursday afternoon that breweries would once again have to close off indoor seating beginning this Monday. We sent out a mass email asking for responses, and the initial responses were full of rage.

“If we don’t band together against this tyrannical idiot we are all OVER!!!” one owner wrote.

Others just seemed resigned to their fates, which could mean that a wave of closures may be on the horizon.

“We don’t have many options at this point,” another wrote in response. “We’ve been in contact with attorneys to see what recourse may be available, but I don’t have much hope.”

A third owner went so far as to say he might move his brewery.

“I would be more than happy to give my perspective, but most of what I think is counter-productive and will fall on deaf ears,” he wrote. “This governor obviously has never owned a business, as have most politicians, so therefore they have no idea how the actions of government impact those of us who actually create jobs and pay taxes. They only know how to kill jobs and spend our taxes.

“A friend of mine just noted that NM is not much better than a quasi-commie Latin American country, and I couldn’t agree more. It takes some real balls to basically tell residents that they can’t use our state parks that we as citizens own, and to tell out-of-state visitors that we don’t want you to not only come and stay in our beautiful state, but we don’t even want you stopping to gas up or go souvenir shopping. We don’t want any of your money or tax revenue.

“Fine, I will take my business to AZ, CO and TX where they don’t have quarantine rules and want my money.”

We are declining to publicly reveal the identities of these owners as to avoid their staffs having to confront angry customers.

One owner who offered more measured thoughts was Ex Novo’s Joel Gregory.

“Ex Novo on-site is going to be OK without indoor seating this summer, as most of our seating is outside anyway,” he wrote. “We’ll need to continue to see what we can do for shade and comfort on these super hot days. It will impact our distribution sales as several of our accounts will be shut down again or ordering far less beer, of course. Along with most owners, I’m quite worried about what happens late this fall when the weather turns if we are still in this holding pattern, or even at 50 percent (occupancy).

“For now, I feel for our brewery compadres without patio seating as this is a crushing blow in the time when we all need to be paying bills and staff for the summer. However, I do understand the need to not go the direction of AZ and TX, who really hurt us by their caution-to-the-wind approach to this — if those numbers weren’t looming large as our neighbors, I think the governor wouldn’t have gone this direction. Wear your masks, y’all, and be kind. We need to get out of this.”

As more reactions pour in, we will update this story.

Keep supporting local!

— Stoutmeister

5 Comments Add yours

  1. jwink3101 says:

    > We are declining to publicly reveal the identities of these owners as to avoid their staffs having to confront angry customers

    I understand this logic to an extent but at the same time, I want to know which businesses don’t value my life, the lives of my family, and the lives of other New Mexicans.

    The situation sucks. It really fucking sucks! But it doesn’t take much to understand how any indoor gathering, especially one where you simply can’t wear a mask, is a major danger!

    I’m damn proud the courage our governor has shown! It doesn’t take much to see what could happen. Especially given our limited resources

  2. Anon says:

    We just came back from a weeklong vacation in Colorado. There is absolutely another way to do things in this pandemic than the way NM is doing them. In CO we were able to go to a farmer’s market, eat in restaurants, go bowling, and do a lot of things we won’t be able to do in NM for a long time, because our governor is more interested in increasing her national political profile than she is in making decisions using evidence. Colorado is also having an uptick in cases but rather than make ridiculous pronouncements about people wearing masks while exercising outside (ZERO evidence that restriction will positively affect transmission; lots of evidence that outdoor transmission risk is basically nil) or knee-jerking to re-closing places that have struggled to re-open, the Governor in Colorado is talking to people like they are adults (not toddlers) and encouraging distancing and mask-wearing. And businesses are doing that also. I voted for Lujan-Grisham and I could not be more disappointed in her. Someone who is capable of leading, and demonstrating good leadership, doesn’t have to order their law-enforcement officers to enforce the law via an op-ed in the paper. A good leader would have figured out a way to get people bought in to her plans and her ideas without having to throw a printed hissy fit in the Albuquerque Journal. She’s failing and she doesn’t realize it. And she won’t, because she refuses to listen to anyone.

    We came back from CO with the same thought as one of the owners quoted above – we’re done with New Mexico, and we’re leaving. We are actively looking for new jobs and will move as soon as we are able to (and we’ll be able to – we have in-demand technical skills). As high earners who don’t mind paying taxes, NM needs us. But NM doesn’t have what we need any more. And that will especially be true in a year, or two years, when Lujan-Grisham tanks the economy and defense spending gets cut as political winds shift. A question every New Mexican may want to ask themselves: When all the small businesses go under, and Sandia and Los Alamos National Labs and the Air Force Research Lab stop hiring (or lay off people), where will the jobs come from? Where will the money come from for anyone to support themselves? Or pay taxes to the state? Good question, right? We’re not sticking around to find out how many junkies and homeless people take over the parks in Albuquerque once there are no jobs and no taxes to pay the cops. Aight, imma head out, thanks anyway. I am very sorry for all the small business owners – including the brewers – who will go under as a result of the governor’s ridiculous and capricious posturing. It’s a shame and it’s sad. It’s also a shame, and sad, that the governor isn’t interested in listening to any feedback, but is instead making public policy based on whatever she reads in the New York Times when she gets up in the morning (as a subscriber to the NYT, it’s easy for me to track what she’s going to be talking about based on whatever the headlines are that day). I wish everyone luck. New Mexico is going to need it.

  3. Michael says:

    I’m with JWINK3101, who at least leaves some kind of name that might have something to do with their real life and/or personality, as opposed to Anon, who claims to be a huge benefit to our state, but makes vague outlandish claims, much like we saw in John Starr’s ridiculous Facebook post: MLG is doing what’s RIGHT, as opposed to what’s easy. I want to go out and have a beer, too. Until it’s safe to do so, I’m happy to support the breweries that are trying to abide by the rules, as opposed to throwing hissy fits, like we see on Facebook, not in the Journal.

    Thanks to the Brew Crew for the reporting, as always.

  4. deezbeers says:

    There are many good arguments to be made in favor of restricting businesses and activities with the intent of mitigating the health consequences of the virus.

    There are also many good arguments to be made in favor of giving business owners the opportunity to demonstrate that they can open and operate in a safe manner, and giving consumers the opportunity (as always) to ultimately decide whether they choose to visit a business; with the intent of mitigating the financial consequences of the virus.

    If you can’t be open to both of those assertions then you probably aren’t capable of making a constructive contribution to a very important debate. Equating the intent to keep people safe, with an intent to destroy businesses is ignorant and malicious and has no place in this debate. Equating the intent to operate one’s business, with an intent to compromise the health and safety of individuals is equally ignorant and malicious, and also has no place in this debate.

    In this challenging time, more then ever before, let’s find common ground and see the good intentions instead of assuming the worst. Let’s not forget that we have the best beer in the damn nation. Cheers!!!

  5. RM says:

    You aren’t identifying the ultra right-wing lunatic who said those things but everyone knows who it is.

    When you wish upon a….

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