WARREN COUNTY, Ohio (FOX19) - For many businesses, the pandemic has been about adapting — closing, furloughs, learning how to get through the paycheck protection program simply to stay afloat.
Now they must navigate reopening, and for one Mason brewery, that’s something to toast about.
“There were a lot of questions for us, like, were we going to be able to do anything or are we going to completely shut down?” 16 Lots Brewery’s Mike Burton mused.
Burton says in the first week of the shutdown it became clear that carryout and delivery weren’t going to be viable options. In the short term, that still meant they had to furlough all their employees.
“Thankfully we were able to get federal funding through the paycheck protection program,” Burton said. “We were able to bring back all of our staff three weeks ago.”
Friday night they let the taps flow again, something they’ve been working on for weeks.
“We’re just gonna kind of take it one day, one shift, one week at a time,” Burton said.
While the brewery is limited to patio seating, they are ready to welcome patrons back too.
Brewmaster Jeff Cosgrove says no one knows what to expect, but he remains hopeful.
“People com here to have a sense of community, to connect with other people, to see their friends,” Cosgrove said. “I understand that can be somewhat limited at first, but we can start to get back to a sense of normalcy. I hope my beer can help everyone do that.”