Vermont brewpubs welcome back outside service

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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) Like restaurants Friday, many Vermont breweries -- and beer lovers -- celebrated the start of outdoor seated service across the state.

"We're happy with it, and looking forward to next weekend when I know more breweries will be open," said Jean Driver of South Burlington.

Before Saturday, customers were drinking their favorite craft beers at home, but as Vermont relaxes the rules, customers are now drinking it up on-site.

"We've kind of adjusted out patio area to be socially distanced and we're serving cans of beer, and so far it's been a slow trickle of people actually wanting to sit outside," said Kyle Judd with Zero Gravity Brewery.

"It was great to be able to kind of see them enjoying beer on the patio and just watch them having a good time and be able to check in on everybody," said Sarah Diaz with Switchback Brewing Company.

"Certainly in this area there's the space, so you come out and you're nowhere near anybody else. It's safe, it's easy, it's very comfortable," Driver said.

Both Breweries say they've remained busy with deliveries and curbside service since the pandemic began.

"We were pretty nervous about business slowing down a lot but we've had Fridays and Saturday nights where we just can't keep up, so it's been good," Judd said.

And Diaz says it's mostly those customers who are venturing out to come and have a seat, so they're not seeing a noticable uptick in business. "We're excited to be able to start serving again, and like I said, be able to welcome the folks that we know," she said. "Anything is a little better than nothing right now, so we're just excited to be able to serve some Switchback."

Even though local breweries just barely became able to see customers outside, they say the support of the local community never left.