Craft breweries in Orange and San Diego Counties are among beer makers suing California Governor Gavin Newsom, alleging constitutional violations because of a requirement that they serve meals to visitors in order to operate tasting
rooms — a coronavirus-related restriction not imposed on the state’s winemakers, according to court papers.
In the suit filed late Thursday December 17th 2020 in Los Angeles federal court, the California Craft Brewers Association contends that requiring beer manufacturers to serve food as a perquisite to keeping tasting rooms open, but exempting
similarly situated wineries, is “arbitrary, irrational and unconstitutional.”
Orange-based Green Cheek and Chapman Crafted Beer, and San Diego’s Second Chance, are among local breweries to have been “irreparably harmed by the state’s actions in response to COVID-19, including most significantly by
the sit-down, dine-in meal requirement,” the lawsuit maintains.
The suit also names as a defendant Sandra Shewry, who has been serving as the state Department of Public Health’s acting director until the newly chosen director can be confirmed by the Senate.
The suit alleges that the public health mandate “was not supported by scientific data, or an explanation of how the provision of meals achieves the goal of slowing the spread of the virus,” according to the CCBA, which represents the state’s over 1,050 craft breweries.
The brewers’ rights group contends that the mandate violates the beer manufacturers’ constitutional rights to equal protection and due process.
Tattoos on arm of bartender pouring beer from a tap at a bar.
Photo by Alpha Media USA Portland OR