I thought I would update you on what is happening at the Brewery since pubs were told to shut down.
Obviously, it was somewhat of a shock to be given such short notice to close down pubs across the country, but we, as do other breweries, realise the massive importance in keeping people safe, be they pub users or otherwise.
Our pubs closed over the weekend of the 21st of March, leaving many people disappointed that they could not celebrate Mothers Days in their favourite pub. However, the short notice helped to highlight how serious the situation was. Our pubs, our staff and our customers have been brilliant in abiding by the guidelines put in place by the Government and this will lead to a gradual reopening of the economy, albeit it looks as if pubs will come fairly low down the list. But we have to plan for that day, however, as the Prime minister said on the 10th of May, ‘the journey down the mountain can be more hazardous than the climb up it’.
We have to be cautious, as a premature reopening of pubs, followed by a potential re-shutdown would be extremely damaging. And I’m really not sure that social distancing in pubs is something that would work.
Pubs are about many things, as well as socialising and having a good time; they are about their communities, and so many pubs have stepped up to the plate in helping to provide services to those in need. They will play a very big part in helping communities get back on their feet in the future. Many put flags and bunting out on Saturday to commemorate VE Day and the massive sacrifice made by the previous generation. We have to follow their example. They had to bear far, far more than we are.
It has been said many times how good things can come out of bad, and the support shown by people for others has been tremendous, which is an attitude we must try and continue when we come out the other side of this.
We have tried to do our bit by supplying beer to a distillery to be converted in to sanitizers for the NHS, making our offices, warehouses and transport available if required and making soft drinks available to food banks.
The Brewery has been ‘mothballed’ to try and ensure that there is a brewery and pubs to come back to when we get to the other side. We still have stocks of our bottled beers, which are being sold through the supermarkets and on our on-line shop with options for either a ‘click and collect’ facility, which is open week days between 2.00pm and 4.00pm, or a home delivery via courier.
The brew house is being kept spotless and the raw materials packed away to keep them in prime condition ready for brewing to recommence. Our sacred yeast is also being well looked after!
Over 90% of our staff have been furloughed and I know they are desperate to come back to work. We are already considering how we can phase a return and ensure that we have taken all the measures required to keep people safe, just as our pubs are. Those still working at the Brewery are doing an amazing job, under very difficult conditions.
We are keeping in very regular contact with our pubs and our customers, to try and ensure we are providing whatever advice, support and reassurance we can, but unfortunately, at the moment, whatever ‘Road Map’ the Government produces, it doesn’t seem to have the reopening pubs anywhere near the top of the list.
Until then we all have to ‘dig in’ and do what we can to get through this, but always remembering that safety is the number priority and every death is a tragedy for someone.
We have to make sure ‘the comeback is bigger than the setback!
All the best,
GEORGE BATEMAN & SON LIMITED