The surge in omicron has many industry events reevaluating plans to cancel, postpone or go forward with events that are planned for the coming weeks and months. One well-known event, Russian River Brewing’s Pliny the Younger release has been postponed until late March. The annual event draws beer consumers from around the country who travel to the Santa Rosa, California brewery for a long wait in line to buy the popular double IPA.
In addition to a recent local county health order banning large gatherings and asking residents to stay at home for the next 30 days, the company said that 20 brewery employees have tested positive for COVID with several more out sick or in quarantine due to exposure. “We, as a company, have never had this many employees out at one time for any reason, including wildfire evacuations. The first week of January 2022, we were forced to close both brewpubs for several days, and the following week offering limited menus and reduced hours due to lack of staffing. This is unprecedented,” the statement said.
Many news organizations have reported in recent days that health experts are hopeful that COVID cases may start dropping off dramatically soon, leading event organizers to ponder their plans.