Volusia County breweries rejoice as governor lifts restrictions

The Ormond Brewing Company has been counting down to the day it can reopen and gain a sense of normalcy.

“2020, we’ve only been open like 101 days. We’ve been closed 155, I think,” said Justin Robinson.

Robinson’s brewery was one of many across the state allowed to reopen Monday alongside bars. The move means Robinson is able to reopen his taproom and start rolling kegs back out to bars.

“The bars are the lifeblood of the brewing industry. I mean, that’s who distributes the beers,” he said.

Although he doesn’t typically open Mondays, he welcomed a group of customers on the first day back. He said in house sales are a big part of his business. 

“Taproom’s huge,” he explained. It’s probably 60 percent of our revenue or 70 percent of our revenue.” 

The Copper Bottom Craft Distillery in Holly Hill didn’t have to close. However, owners Jenni and Jeremy Craig said they still felt the hit.

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“A lot of people just assumed we were shut down because they kind of lumped us in with bars, but also bars being shut down affected us because a lot of our products are sold in bars and restaurants,” said Jeremy.

The locally owned business stayed afloat through its side hustle - making hand sanitizer. Now they hope to redshift focus to making rum and vodka.

“That’s what we got into this for. We’re just glad we were able to help when we needed it,” said Jeremy.

As for Robinson, he’s hiring his staff back slowly and crafting booze as quickly as possible. 

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“They’re basically feverishly cleaning tanks and making beer again so we have beer to serve customers again,” he said. 

Having had to close down twice, he hopes this time he’s able to stay open for good.