Saint Arnold brewery says new interpretation of bar-closure order is putting 75 jobs at risk

HOUSTON – More than 70 workers at the Saint Arnold Beer Garden and Restaurant are in danger of being laid off and the brewery blames a new interpretation of Gov. Greg Abbott’s bar-closure order for the possible cuts.

Officials at the brewery said Monday that state officials have “abruptly changed” the way brewery restaurants are categorized, lumping in distributor sales of alcohol into the sales of the restaurant. This means the sales of alcohol now exceed the 51% rule set forth in Abbott’s order that closed bars more than two weeks ago.

“Counting the beer we sell to distributors as if it were being sold in the restaurant defies common sense,” said Brock Wagner, founder of the brewing company, in a written statement. “We are calling on the governor to make this easy fix so we can retain the 75 coworkers whose positions will otherwise be eliminated.”

Wagner said that as of Monday, Saint Arnold moved to a skeleton crew that will sell beer and will only offer food to go.

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