SLO County establishments cited by ABC for coronavirus violations

February 11, 2021


The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) has issued citations to a local brewery and winery for violating state coronavirus health orders. [Tribune]

ABC cited Santa Maria Brewing Co. locations in both Atascadero and Nipomo, as well as Iron Oaks Winery in Paso Robles, for allowing on-site alcohol consumption. Department spokesman John Carr said indoor and outdoor dining was also observed at both Santa Maria Brewing Co. locations, in violation of state rules.

Both Santa Maria Brewing Co. violations occurred on Jan. 21, while the Iron Oaks Winery violation occurred on Jan. 22, according to ABC. At the time, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s regional stay-at-home order was in effect.

Businesses receive citations after ABC agents inspect an establishment and see it is not in compliance with state public health orders. Violators can face fines and are at risk of having their liquor licenses suspended or revoked.

Additionally, ABC is sending reports to the SLO County District Attorney’s Office to consider criminal prosecution against Santa Maria Brewing Co. and Iron Oaks Winery.

Previously, ABC warned several restaurants and bars in SLO County about following state coronavirus rules. One establishment, Pappy McGregor’s in Paso Robles, disclosed in a Facebook post last month that it received a warning over in-person dining.

On Monday, county supervisors Debbie Arnold and John Peschong sent a letter to Newsom asking that ABC stop threatening to close local restaurants, bars and wineries for violating COVID-19 regulations unless the rules are supported by empirical data.


Did the French Laundry in Napa get fined by the ABC for serving Newsom? No it didn’t. Newsom’s bad emergency executive orders bypassed the legislature and that’s why he’s being recalled. Ultimately, the ABC is cherry-picking who to fine with no evidence that these establishment have contributed to virus transmission.


These businesses needed help. What they got was punishment!


Where were the watchdogs from the government during all the uncivil and violent protest by blm and race matters in SLO while the China virus was raging? Any fines and accountability for them and their part in spreading it throughout the communities? Of course not. Complete insanity.


It’s difficult to get blood out of a turnip, ie, fining people whose main source of income is government largesse.


Why is beer and wine and sub 15% alcohol beverages regulated by ABC and TTB? Can someone give me the argument as to why?


Since when does a government agency NOT regulate any and everything they can?


Good question,

A lot of pretty good beers these days with under 6 percent.


OK, so there is no point to these regulations on beer and wine. How about a state wide initiative to free wineries, breweries, restaurants, beer pubs and wine bars from these hassles?


I’ll be going to Santa Maria Brewing as my new “go to” spot. I hope people are starting to understand the ramifications of a government over reach.


With all of this centralized power maybe one day we won’t need to bother with pesky votes or debates…we will just follow orders….or else….

Jorge Estrada

Why are we still required to pay taxes, of any kind, while under a mandatory closure? Additionally, no government official, Department Head to the Governor, should be receiving an income during their self imposed closures. These are hard times and the decision makers need to be a part of their formula.


At a time when small businesses need help the government sends the goons out to punish small businesses that are just trying to survive.


There is no empirical data showing that small businesses are any more dangerous than large retail outlets like Walmart and Lowes. Actually it can be argued restaurants are cleaner and have less virus cases than most large stores that are open. This is strictly the continuing dictatorial power grab than has Sacramento drunk with power – even if it’s unconstitutional.