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.
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:
More details on the CDC How to Protect Yourself page.
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.
Get the latest information from the Governor’s Coronavirus Task Force including links to relevant information from state agencies.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has released Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19 and the OSHA Fall 2020 Compliance Assistance Newsletter with details about the SafetyFestMT and additional Covid-19 resources, including How to Select, Wear, and Clean Your Mask.
See MMEC notes from their March 16 Greater Gallatin Valley Manufacturing Partnership call regarding COVID-19 and Flu response by Montana manufacturers.
(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:
Reopening the Big Sky
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)
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.
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.
See Department of Revenue – Phase II Guidance for details on the rules for operating under Phase II.
The Brewers Association put out this Checklist for Reopening to help breweries think through the reopening process.
Breweries may conduct off-premises sales of packaged beer following these rules:
Breweries must follow all applicable laws including the “Responsible Alcohol Sales and Service Act” (MCA 16-4-1001 through 16-4-1009):
See Guidance from DOR for more details on curbside and delivery.
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, providing 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.
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.
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.
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.
The U.S. Department of Labor recently announced emergency rules that:
Additionally, the CARES Act:
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.