How you can now support our local suppliers in lockdown
It’s very simple really – drink local! Pass by those tempting bottles, cans and sometimes mini-kegs in supermarkets, as it’s never been easier to support the 20 or so local breweries now that most of them deliver as well as operate brewery shops where you can go to collect.
Local beers of all kinds of different styles are available – even, dare I say it, lager. Don’t let all your spending on beer during lockdown go to the national brands, as every penny you spend with local businesses, whoever they are, gives them a better chance of survival in these very grim times. CAMRA is very fearful that even as we celebrate the apparently healthy picture presented by the recently published 2021 Good Beer Guide, the number of pubs and breweries we can feature for 2022 might be much reduced.
While local breweries have the chance to carry on during lockdown, the situation facing pubs is very different. Most pubs owned by large breweries or pub chains put up the shutters during the last lockdown, furloughed staff and sat it out. But a fair number of local independent pubs stayed open for takeaway collection or delivery, although customers were not allowed to enter the premises.
Some are doing the same during the current lockdown, but more restrictions have been put in their way. In a nutshell, these are:
- Pubs must not allow takeaway customers to drink outside the premises where seating is available even if not on the pub’s property, which customers “habitually use”.
- Takeaway must be pre-ordered online, by phone, text or by post (!)
- Collection by car or other vehicle is also allowed, as long as customers don’t actually get out.
So there you have it, and if you want to read the whole very tedious thing it’s at https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/1200/pdfs/uksi_20201200_en.pdf Go to pages 17-18 to read about pubs.
Whether this means that some pubs providing services during the last lockdown are put off from doing so this time remains to be seen. It’s possible that some, because of physical restraints, will offer delivery only – but that requires (wo)manpower. Whichever way you look at it, the new restrictions – aimed at stopping people from congregating, even outside – are another blow for our hard-hit hostelries.
And it’s not just about beer, or indeed any kind of alcoholic drink. Local independent pubs provided much more during the last lockdown including pre-cooked meals (very useful for the elderly or people self-isolating) and also staples such as bread, milk, eggs etc. Pubs such as the Rose and Crown in North Oxford, which is again operating delivery only as it did in the last lockdown, serve grateful customers who may not even drink alcohol or have been regulars in normal times.
As an example of how a local community-owned pub is stepping up to the plate, Johnny Roberts, landlord of the recently re-opened White House in Bladon, near Woodstock, promises customers this:
If the Government permits we plan to:
– Offer a takeaway food and beverage service, you call us or use our app (on collect setting) and our Head Chef David will have your meal made to order and packed up in a takeaway box for you to enjoy at home- condiments provided. We have takeaway pint glasses and lids for those wanting to takeaway any of our fantastic beers. (If you can’t get to us/can’t leave the house – don’t worry, either myself of head chef David can deliver to you!)
We will continue to order stock where possible to support our local friends/breweries as we try to do our bit to help the local economy. (Government permitting).
– We will be stocking essential items to help the community and save the journey to other villages/Woodstock. We will have the following items available:
-Shower Gel and Shampoo etc…
If there’s anything we can do to help/support you please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re a community pub and we will do anything we can to serve and support our community!
We at CAMRA heartily endorse that! Below are links to local breweries that you can support, and we will add pubs known to be offering takeaway or collection as the picture becomes clearer: just email email@example.com and include a weblink please.
But above all else remember: Buy local!