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Stuart's July Message


‘Freedom Day’ 19th July?

So Boris Johnson has now given us an early indication of how and when we will progress to Step 4 of the ‘Road Map’.

Not quite sure if he is still being driven by the data rather than the dates, as infection rates and hospital admissions are increasing and we are in the midst of a third wave. However, although every death is a tragedy, the death rate is not in line with the increase in infections. So obviously the vaccination programme and its effectiveness is a major part of his thinking.

Obviously, the steps taken by the government in lifting restrictions will have a big impact upon breweries and pub businesses, hopefully starting with July 19th.

We continue to be cautious and plan accordingly, to give us a secure future, but I am quietly optimistic. It is really heartening to have some really great feedback on the quality of our beers. One of our brewers was stopped in the street the other day by a gentleman who said he had been drinking our beer for over 60 years and he has never known it to be better!

It does seem that the view of the government is that we will have to learn to live with the virus, although there are medical experts and scientists who are urging caution. So, just because there might be an easing of restrictions Boris Johnson has stressed that this does not mean we are back to normality; far from it. There is still a long, long way to go.

It is acknowledged that the lifting of restrictions may lead to a rise in cases of infection, but there is reasonable confidence that there is low risk of it putting significant additional pressure on the NHS.

As per previous changes in restrictions, the government is looking to give a week’s notice of  confirmation of what changes will be made when progressing through the Road Map, in this case, to Step 4, which has become known as ‘Freedom Day’, 19th July. However, it must be borne in mind that his announcement, was an early indication of what will be implemented on July 19th.

Boris Johnson plans to drop social distancing rules, make the wearing of masks voluntary, remove the requirement to scan QR codes when entering a pub or restaurant, remove the restrictions of capacities and not implement the requirement for domestic Covid-19 passport.

This will mean that table service will no longer be necessary in pubs and you will be able to get served at the bar and pay at the bar, using cash if you so wish.

This has given us confidence to start brewing Skull and Hammers, Beast from the East and our range of canned beers again. And I am also pleased to report, that although we are still utilising the furlough scheme, every member of staff is now back at work in some capacity.

So, fingers crossed that the data between now and next Monday doesn’t make the Prime Minister change his mind about ‘Freedom Day’ on July 19th.

So, onwards and upwards!

All the best,





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