Alcohol Tourism During a Pandemic

When we evaluate our favorite alcohol tourism spots, the variables we usually consider include the quality of the drinks, the quietness of the music, the number and loudness of people, and the comfiness of the space.  We did a little cabin retreat vacation at the beginning of 2021.  We were both vaccinated, wearing masks everywhere, and eating/drinking outside.  Although we spent most of our time in the cabin, we wanted to do some day trip adventures to a few new-to-us breweries in northwest Georgia.  How could we do it safely?

First, we were close to Chattanooga, which we have visited before.  However, at the time, Chattanooga had some of the highest infection rates in Tennessee.  So we decided to cut out Chattanooga entirely.

Next, we wanted to make sure to visit places during down times.  I called around and asked when they were least busy.  Since we were on vacation, we could go during the week.  The time after lunch was over- about 2:30pm- seemed like the best option, so that’s when we went.

Finally, when we arrived, we had to find some place outside and away from people.  But it was January, so we needed to add “warm place outside” when we evaluate places going forward.  Sometimes we could find an outdoor heater, sometimes a place protected from the wind.

All in all, wherever we went, there were almost no other people and we could sit outside.  It was cold but do-able.  Our best finds using this strategy were Top of the Rock Restaurant and Brewery and Phantom Horse Brewing.  Talking Rock Brewing was also quite nice, in a very cool converted train.  Alcohol tourism can be done, but it definitely requires more planning than in the Before Times.

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