It's been three months since Michigan Brew Tours ceased operations due to COVID-19. (BTW, the "19" stands for 2019, the year that the virus was first identified; some people don't seem to understand that.) We are still evaluating our move toward reopening, basing our next steps on CDC and Michigan Health Department recommendations, the safety of our guests, the safety of our tour partners' staff, and the safety of our community as a whole. Trying to balance that with the need for our tour partners and their staffs to make money and keep the doors open is a perplexing quandary, indeed. There is no easy answer.
We're contacting our tour partners and will be relying on their input to determine how we proceed. With reduced seating and social distancing guidelines, large groups of people moving from brewery to brewery, drinking and touching things, using the restrooms, then piling back into the shuttle bus just isn't feasible right now. I don't want to have to change the name of the company to the Coronavirus Super Spreader Brew Tours. Though, that is kinda catchy...
I expect we'll be putting some small-group, single-location guided tastings and food/beer pairings on the calendar beginning in August. We'll work hand-in-hand with our tour partners to minimize health risks and maximize the experience and the fun. (Remember FUN???) Private tours are still available, as are in-home and in-business tastings and pairings. But large public tours are simply too unsafe right now to expose any of you or our tour partners to any unnecessary danger.
In the meantime, BUY LOCAL! Breweries, meaderies, distilleries, and craft bars are reopening and need your business. Wear your mask, social distance, and TIP OUTRAGEOUSLY! If you're not comfortable going out yet, purchase carry-out beverages from their tap rooms, or find their packaged products in your local bottle shop.
This is LIFE OR DEATH for many of these small businesses and YOU can help supply LIFE through your patronage. Local craft beverages are better quality, better for the local economy, and better for your taste buds. This is a way YOU can help in a time of overwhelming helplessness.
We'll talk again soon.