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Brews & BBQ adjusts for COVID-19 guidelines

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Posted at 8:07 PM, Jul 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-18 22:07:02-04

Social Distancing and extra cleaning are there to continue another summer tradition at MetraPark on Saturday.

The 10th annual Montana Brews and BBQ is on with COVID-19 guidelines.

"We've been doing it for 10 years now and we wanted to give the community something to look forward to," said Beau Hedin, one of the promoters for the family-run event. "2020 has been kind of year of disappointment for a lot of people. you know a lot of things being canceled and postponed. We came together, and said hey, with all the things we do, we're locally minded. How can we provide a fun atmosphere for the public, a fun event that'll keep them safe and give them something to look forward to?"

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Beau Hedin

Hedin and the Brews and BBQ crew set up for the big event starting on Thursday.

"I think it's actually going to work really well," Hedin said. "One of those things you say afterwards, you go wow, why haven't we been doing this the entire time? We took everything and we spread it way out. The food vendors are spread out. the beer is spread way out."

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This year's Brews and BBQ takes up the entire Chiesa Plaza for about double the amount of area.

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Hedin said they worked with Riverstone Health and MetraPark."

"They oversaw an entire COVID mitigation plan to make sure that we are keeping the public safe and healthy out here," Hedin said.

Cleaning is a big part of the plan.

"Non-stop cleaning, non-stop sanitizing," he said. "On top of that, they're using very specific cleaners that had been approved and the staff have been trained simply to do that."

The event is outside and like a bar and restaurant, masks are optional.

"You maybe have a big brisket in your hand and you have an ice cold craft brew in your hand and if you have a mask on, it makes it pretty impractical to be able to enjoy that," Hedin said. "So what we're asking is for people when they get here, they're more than welcome to take those off or not have them on. Enjoy and then of course when they go throughout Billings to maintain all those CDC guidelines."

They put what's needed in place to hold the event.

"We naturally ask that everybody abide by the CDC guidelines," he said. "We want the event to be safe. we want it to continue to thrive. and have a safe time so we can continue to do it year after year."

The number of beers is down from 90 to 56 this year.

Also the event is limited to 2,500 people over a nine-hour period.