Breweries During Quarantine
By Teri Burns
Carlsbad residents with a taste for craft beer are still in luck. While the governor’s stay-at-home orders and required social distancing have changed things for the city’s two breweries, they remain open for carry-out brews in growlers and cans.The city’s first brewery opened its doors in July of 2016 on East Mermod Street. Milton’s Brewery grew in popularity, and moved to its new, larger location on West Mermod Street in December of 2019. The new location featured live music, trivia games and open mic nights until the governor’s orders limited sales to carry-out.“We had music booked months in advance and sadly had to cancel that until further notice,” said Lucas Middleton, owner and brewer.They have offered their Facebook fans alive-stream version of their musical talent, and Middleton said that went over well.“It was good to see some of our regulars on there talking to each other,” he said of the event, which they plan to do again, in addition to trying a trivia night via live-stream down the road.In the meantime, they are trying an innovative partnership to draw customers in.“We are partnering with Lucky Bull so when they order through Lucky Bull and they want beer, they come pick it up at Milton’s,” Middleton said. “The partnership with Lucky Bull just started this week, but we’re hoping that it goes over well and they keep doing it.”He said they have their business set up for social distancing for those picking up beer, and offer it in both 16 oz. cans and 64 oz. growlers. “We are doing a growler exchange,” he added. “We do an extra sanitize on them so that we can resell them.”Customers can also call Milton’s to place an order if they want to minimize exposure when they pick up.Milton’s is open 4-9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.Guadalupe Mountain Brewing Company opened its location on National Parks Highway in January of 2018with deli-style food and craft beer. At the beginning of 2019, they installed a brick pizza oven and began making cider as well. They attempted to continue with carry-out-only after the governor’s orders went into effect, but closed their doors temporarily at the end of March. They recently reopened on a limited basis for sales of their craft beer and cider.“We set it up through an online website called biermi.com,” according to April Pettus, general manager.“They opened it up for craft brewers pretty much when all of this happened. They don’t charge to use it, and I get the orders on my phone to fill them,”she added. Pettus isa one-woman show as of now, and the brewery is open 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday. Shesaid they were doing well despite the social distancing orders up until the governor ordered carry-out-only for restaurants.
“Every evening almost all the tables were full,” she said. They also offered live music, trivia and other events.“The decision to close came because the to-go orders weren’t sustaining the staff costs, and we wanted to keep the staff safe,” Pettus said. “I was scared for my family and their family because everything was so uncertain and we were just starting to see the virus here.”However, Pettus is hoping to see things open up soon, since the city has seen limited virus spread.“I’m hoping to open at the end of the month for carry-out if they don’t open up the dining rooms,” she said.As of now, customers can order from a selection of beers on the website in 32 and 64 oz. growlers and 19.5 oz. crowlers, which is a can.They are not currently doing growler exchanges due to the coronavirus, but plan to do a growler buy-back in the near future to take back their own glass growlers.