By Rachel Holt
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BRIGHTON (CBS) – Brato Brewhouse & Kitchen opened its doors in late October of 2019.

“We finally sort of took a breath in early March, late February, thinking we had finally gotten to a sturdy ground and righted the ship, and then, of course, COVID hit,” co-founder and Chef Jonathan Gilman explained.

Ever since, they’ve been adjusting their plans and, as of this week, offering a microbakery during the day from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. before the Brewhouse opens at 4 p.m.

“One of the beauties of the microbakery is the fact that this would be allowed even in the most severe lockdowns that we saw during March. Because it is a retail and takeout operation, it allows us to sort of have that element going throughout,” Gilman said.

Brato Brewhouse & Kitchen’s Jonathan Gilman has started a microbakery at his brewery. (WBZ-TV)

The microbakery serves baked goods, coffee, cheese, jars of pickles and more.

In addition to the microbakery, Brato is also adapting to the times by offering meal kits, virtual beer tastings and a socially distanced outdoor patio.

“Every time we’ve folded in a new wrinkle to our business model, we’ve had a decent amount of adjusting and it almost feels not quite like opening the doors again but a little miniature version of that,” Gilman said.

Brato is one of many local breweries finding ways to get creative in order to stay in business.

Lamplighter Brewing Co. in Cambridge is offering a reservation-only outdoor beer garden, a walk-up retail window open daily from noon-8 p.m. and virtual events, like tastings and beer dinners.

Meanwhile, Turtle Swamp Brewing, which has locations in Roslindale and Jamaica Plain, pivoted with an expanded online store for beer purchases and two small kitchens to serve food to patrons in order to meet state regulations. They are also building up wholesale operations as they – like others – know that colder weather and more changes are coming their way.

“Our goal is to just be as diverse as possible so that, you know, between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day we have a way to survive the spring,” Gilman said.

Rachel Holt

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