Montana Brewers Association

COVID-19 Resource Center

The Montana Brewers Association is here to help our members through the COVID-19 pandemic and corresponding economic crisis. We created this page to provide a collection of valuable information, guidance and resources for Montana breweries and their employees.


General Resources

Centers for Disease Control

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides helpful information for businesses, schools, health care professional, organizations and the general public regarding COVID-19 and how to prevent transmission.

Go to the CDC Coronavirus (COVID-19) page for their resources and information on COVID-19.

The CDC recommends practicing good hygiene and taking the following steps to avoid contracting and spreading the disease:

  • Clean your hands often. Wash for at least 20 seconds or use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Practice social distancing.
  • Stay home if you’re sick.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes.
  • Cover mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.

More details on the CDC How to Protect Yourself page.

Brewers Association

The Brewers Association has also compiled resources and information specifically relevant to the brewing industry including cleaning and sanitation resources, guidance for businesses and legislative information. See the BA Coronavirus Resource Center for details.

Governor’s Coronavirus Task Force

Get the latest information from the Governor’s Coronavirus Task Force including links to relevant information from state agencies.


Workplace Resources

OSHA Guidance

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has released Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19.

Montana Manufacturing Extension Center

See MMEC notes from their March 16 Greater Gallatin Valley Manufacturing Partnership call regarding COVID-19 and Flu response by Montana manufacturers.


Local and State Orders Affecting Retail Operations

Phased Reopening Plan

(updated April 22, 2020) Gov. Bullock announced that the stay-at-home order will end Sunday, April 25 as Montana begins a phased reopening. Montana has weathered this storm better than most states, and the state is now in a position to begin a phased reopening of businesses. Montana remains under a State of Emergency and will throughout this phased reopening process. Phase One of this process includes limited businesses reopening on Monday, April 26. Breweries, along with bars, restaurants coffee shops and distilleries, will be allowed to reopen for guests on Monday, May 4. Significant changes will be necessary in order to protect public health and limit the spread of COVID-19. Throughout this phased reopening, breweries may continue to offer the options of curbside service for to-go sales and home delivery. While brewery taprooms may once again open to the public on May 4, curbside sales and home delivery will continue to offer safe options for the public, particularly those in a high-risk category, to buy local craft beer.

These new rules include:

  • Capacity capped at 50% occupancy
  • Tables limited to 6 people
  • Minimum of 6 feet separation or a physical barrier between tables
  • No seating at the bar
  • Table service only (no self-serve or ordering at the bar)
  • Local health departments may adopt additional requirements

Reopening the Big Sky

Local Closure Orders

The following counties have closure orders affecting area bars, restaurants, breweries and other food and drink establishments.

Gallatin (until 8 a.m. April 17 – EXPIRED)

Lewis & Clark (until 8 a.m. March 31 – EXPIRED)

Missoula (until 8 a.m. March 24 – EXPIRED)

Silver Bow (through March 23 – EXPIRED)

Yellowstone (through April 10 – EXPIRED)

MT Department of Revenue

DOR has this COVID-19 page, with information about their recent decision to allow the return of products purchased for events canceled due to COVID-19.


Guidance for Reopening and Off-Premises Sales

As Montana begins the phased reopening process, breweries may continue to offer packaged beer to-go, including “curbside sales,” and may engage in home delivery. Taprooms are currently closed to guests to prevent the spread of COVID-19, but will be allowed to reopen to the public beginning May 4.

Reopening Guidance

See Department of Revenue – Phase I Guidance for details on the rules for opening under Phase I

The Brewers Association put out this Checklist for Reopening to help breweries think through the reopening process.

Curbside and Delivery Guidance

Breweries may conduct off-premises sales of packaged beer following these rules:

  • Taprooms are closed other than for off-premises sales of packaged beer.
  • No more than five members of the public allowed in the taproom at any time (again, off-premises sales only).
  • Any taprooms open for off-premises sales must practice social distancing (people should be at least six feet apart).
  • Beer orders may be placed by phone or electronically.
  • Breweries may engage in “curbside sales,” bringing orders out to customers on the sidewalk or in the parking lot.
  • Breweries may offer home delivery of packaged beer.
  • No third party deliveries of beer. While delivery services like Uber Eats may deliver food, they may not be used to deliver beer.

Breweries must follow all applicable laws including the “Responsible Alcohol Sales and Service Act” (MCA 16-4-1001 through 16-4-1009):

  • All staff serving to the public must receive Responsible Alcohol Sales and Service training.
  • No sales to persons under 21 years of age.
  • No sales to persons who are intoxicated.
  • Home delivery sales may not be completed if the person is underage or intoxicated.
  • Ensure compliance with all state and local open container laws.

See Guidance from DOR for more details on curbside and delivery.


Resources for Affected Businesses

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Loans

Low interest loans (3.75% for up to $2 million) are available to affected businesses in Montana. See the SBA Disaster Assistance Loan Application for more details. The CARES Act also includes emergency grants of up to $10,000, proividing immediate relief within three days. The CARES Act also provides small business debt relief to cover 6 months of payments for small businesses with existing SBA loans. See the SBA Loan Resource Center and the SBA Loan Q&A on the BA site. The BA has also posted a replay of the Power Hour webinar SBA Assistance for Brewers During the COVID-19 Crisis; What’s Available.

Paycheck Protection Program

The CARES Act created a new $350 billion program for small businesses, providing loans up to 250 percent of average monthly payroll capped at $10 million. For details see the information sheet from the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

Resources from WIPFLi

MBA Associate Member WIPFli has posted this COVID-19 Resource Center including information on the recent announcement from the Treasury of a 90-day tax payment extension, information on the CARES Act and how to apply for the Paycheck Protection Program.

See WIPFLi’s PPP Loan Forgiveness Memo

Resources from Avitus

MBA Associate Member Avitus has this COVID-19 Resources Page with information on government assistance for employers, the Payroll Protection Program, employee leave, and more. They also have a COVID-19 Virtual Hotline Form.


Resources for Affected Workers

Unemployment Insurance

The U.S. Department of Labor recently announced emergency rules that:

  • Allow workers who are temporally laid off due to COVID-19 to be eligible for unemployment benefits.
  • Waive the one-week to expedite benefits.
  • Waive the requirement to apply for jobs if the unemployed worker maintains contact with the employer and intends to return to their job.
  • Prevent claims from being charged to the specific employer’s account.

Additionally, the CARES Act:

  • Provides an additional $600 per week to those out of work.
  • Expedites benefits by including payment for the waiting week and provides emergency staffing flexibility to quickly process claims.
  • Expands benefits to include independent contractors and the self-employed.
  • Provides an additional 13 weeks of eligibility for those unable to find work after the crisis subsides

Brewery staff who have been laid off due to COVID-19 should apply for unemployment benefits online through the Montana Department of Labor and Industry.

Additional Support for Affected Workers

Montana Brewers Association

Montana Brewers Association

P.O. Box 763

Helena, MT 59624

406-948-BREW (2739)