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.
  • Wear a facemask if you are sick. (If you are NOT sick: You do not need to wear a facemask unless you are caring for someone who is sick.)
  • 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

 

Statewide Stay-at-Home Order

(updated March 26, 2020) Gov. Bullock issued a stay-at-home order (effective 12:01 a.m. March 28 and running through April 10). The order directs Montanans to stay at home in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19. It provides exceptions for Montanans to leave their homes for health and safety, for necessary supplies and services, for outdoor activities, for certain types of work and to care for others. Breweries are deemed essential under this order. That means breweries may continue brewing operations and may continue to sell beer to the public for carry-out and through home delivery (see “Guidance for Off-Premises Sales” below).

Statewide Closure (until 11:59 p.m. April 10)

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)

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

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

Silver Bow (through March 23 – EXPIRED)

Yellowstone (through April 10)

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 Off-Premises Sales

Under current closure orders and the statewide stay-at-home order, breweries may continue to offer packaged beer to-go, including “curbside sales,” and may engage in home delivery. However, taprooms are currently closed to guests to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

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.


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.

Tax information 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. Now, tax payments up to $1 million for individuals and up to $10 million for corporations can be deferred for 90 days. The $1 million individual limit is intended to cover taxes paid at individual level on pass-through entity income.


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.

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)