Updated: Oct 8, 2020
Well, we managed to get through the spring and summer of COVID visiting our favorite breweries and taprooms "on the patio"--sometimes that patio was an actual deck or adjacent space, and other times it was a roped-off section of parking lot charmingly draped with fairy lights.
But. It's October: While it doesn't affect the entire country, cold weather is moving into at the very least our neck of the woods. Lots of breweries and taprooms might be able (depending on the opening phase, etc.) to welcome us back inside, but for lots of us that's not really an option yet.
A recent (mid-September 2020) poll conducted by Boston.com showed that 57% of those surveyed said that they still didn't feel safe eating or drinking indoors. Even with distancing, improved ventilation, and heightened sanitation, many places of business won't be luring lots of patrons inside as the weather gets colder.
Many municipalities are planning to serve their patrons outdoors as long as they can, even amidst the extreme cold and snow that marks our northern late fall and winter. Boston has extended the "public space" accommodation for restaurants and breweries using outside spaces until December 1. Some owners will be ponying up for outdoor heaters and even igloos in an attempt to keep outdoor-remaining patrons warm(ish). Portland, Maine, a city with many taprooms and breweries, has extended its summer street closures and outdoor dining allowances at least through mid-November.
Here's where the stereotype of the "hardy New England type" needs to rear its collective head: Put on your coats. Wear those gloves. Wrap yourselves up in as many woolly scarves, warm underlayers, and toasty socks as you need to remain outside while enjoying the tasty output of your favorite brewery or taproom.
Don't let those Patriots fans have all the tailgating-type fun. Football fans have for decades braved the freezing cold, awful weather, and adverse conditions as they "pregame" in the parking lot.
We can do it. Show your support for your neighborhood taproom, or take a special road trip to a brewery or taproom that you've been meaning to visit. Stand outside in your warm New Englander clothes and taste the beer and enjoy the food offerings.
We have to do it. If we don't, our favorite spots (and those that you've been meaning to visit) won't be around next year. The beer world will be worse for it.
Oh, and don't forget to wear your boots. I'll see you outside.