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Orange, San Diego Craft Breweries Sue Newsom Over Tasting Room Restrictions

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Craft breweries in Orange and San Diego are among multiple beer makers suing Gov. Gavin Newsom, alleging constitutional violations over a requirement stating they must serve meals to operate tasting rooms but winemakers do not, according to court papers obtained Friday.

In the suit filed late Thursday in Los Angeles federal court, the California Craft Brewers Association contends that requiring beer manufacturers to serve food as a perquisite to keeping tasting rooms open, but exempting wineries, is "arbitrary, irrational and unconstitutional."

Green Cheek and Chapman Crafted Beer -- both based in Orange -- and San Diego brewery Second Chance are among local manufacturers to have been "irreparably harmed by the state's actions in response to COVID-19, including most significantly by the sit-down, dine-in meal requirement," the lawsuit states.

The suit also names Sandra Shewry as a defendant, who has been serving as the state Department of Public Health's acting director until the newly chosen director can be confirmed by the Senate.

The suit alleges that the public health mandate "was not supported by scientific data, or an explanation of how the provision of meals achieves the goal of slowing the spread of the virus," according to the CCBA, which represents the state's over 1,050 craft breweries.

The group contends that the restriction violates the beer makers' constitutional rights to equal protection and due process.

A representative for Newsom could not immediately be reached for comment.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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