The pubs are shut and, if you’re prepared to brave the supermarket, the shelves are empty and more of an advert for shelving than beer or cider as selfish stockpilers fill their cellars.
It is a tragic time for the hospitality sector as thousands of pub staff are furloughed and restaurant chains teeter on the brink. But as traditional routes to market close during the lock-down, many brewers are diversifying operations to include home delivery or click and collect.
In what could become a series of stories as this journalist sits furloughed to his room for at least two months, I’ll look at just some of the brewers offering home delivery services to help brighten your long evenings.
To start, I’ll look at Surrey and Hampshire.
Mix and match
Six brewers spread across Surrey and Hampshire have teamed up to offer a free delivery service during the lock-down.
The Garden Cider Company, Firebird Brewing Company, Pilgrim Brewery, Langham Brewery, Brightwater Brewery and Crafty Brewing Company are offering a service in which customers can mix and match from any of the brewers’ products to make up a minimum order of 12 bottles.
The initiative is the brainchild of Garden Cider Company founders Will and Ben Filby. Their cidery uses donated garden apples from more than 4,000 households, which receive a percentage of their yield.
Ben Filby says: “We have always been about our community. It’s the ethos behind our business of making cider from local, donated apples. If there was ever a time we needed to be more supportive of the people in our area, it’s now.
“We have teamed up with some of our favourite brewers in the area to bring our customers a wide range of drinks we hope will help them get through this difficult time with a bit more ease. Now is the time for us to stand together and look out for one another.”
Hair of the dog
Longdog Brewery, near Basingstoke in Hampshire, is also offering a home delivery service. The online shop offers a range of bottles as well as draught ale in eight, 18 and 36-pint boxes. All bottles are £3 and boxes start at £18. There is a £3 nominal delivery charge.
As happy as…
Hogs Back Brewery in Tongham, Surrey, is offering a beer drive-thru. Customers can place an order and have it placed in their car boot by staff outside the brewery. The range includes bottles and brewery-fresh beer, while the brewer also offers a home delivery service that is free for orders above £40.
For all these companies, it’s best to check their website for delivery services as many will only deliver within a certain radius of the brewery. Why not carry out an online search for breweries in your area?
Get it before it’s gone!