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Cornelius News

Craft brewers can open in Phase 2

Eleven Lakes co-founder Teri Lippi, center, says craft brewers are not bars

May 22. UPDATE 6PM. By Dave Yochum. North Carolina entered Phase Two reopening at 5 pm Friday, with restaurants at half capacity, and, at the last second, craft breweries opening as well.

Bars are still closed until Phase 3 reopening.

Local breweries like Eleven Lakes and Lost Worlds are not bars, and they’re able to open, same as restaurants.

Lost Worlds next to Choplin’s

The NC craft beer industry is an integral part of the local economy, contributing more than $2 billion to the economy and providing more than 12,000 jobs.

The North Carolina Craft Brewers Guild argued that the state’s breweries should be able to open under Gov. Roy Cooper’s plan for Phase Two, just like restaurants.

State officials agreed and allowed breweries and distillers to open. Read the actual guidance here.

The COVID-19 crisis and subsequent shut down has been tough on the industry. Indeed, revenues are down 75 percent to 90 percent industry-wide.

At Eleven Lakes, co-founder Terri Lippy contacted legislators in Raleigh to get clarification.

She does not believe breweries, taprooms and brewpubs meet Gov. Cooper’s definition of bars.

“You can go into a restaurant, drink for hours and never be required to purchase food. It feels as though they’re trying to put us all out of business,” Lippy said before the state changed directions on breweries.