Good afternoon everyone. I wanted to update you all on our position following the Prime Minister’s broadcast last night but also touch on a couple of topics close to our hearts. I’m talking about Dry January and mental health.

You will be unsurprised to learn that locally we will revert to a delivery only service Thursday to Saturday until the end of the period of lockdown whereupon we will reassess the situation. We will continue to dispatch beer nationally through our webshop and all orders received before 1pm Monday to Thursday will be dispatched the same day.

I’ve seen quite a few “Boris has ended Dry January” type comments on social media and I wanted to talk a little bit about that because it is a complex topic for the consumer and the retailer too. Sober October and Dry January can be very difficult periods for the licensed trade. On top of a year that has been very challenging there is no doubt that some businesses will fail. In the licensed trade there is some mistrust and trepidation of these campaigns; some believe it is a part of a concerted effort by the temperance lobby. I take a slightly different view. January is often a month of low mood. Short daylight hours, money worries, low self esteem can all contribute.

It can feel quite tempting to self medicate with an imperial stout but we must remember that alcohol is a depressant. If you’ve chosen a period of abstinence to improve your health we’re cool with that. Doesn’t matter if it is a a few days, a week or the whole month. What concerns us is the other reason people come to bars. Isolation.

It’s no coincidence that a number of our customers wanted to stop for a chat when they were collecting or when we were delivering. We’re all missing that connection, I’ve said all along that it is very difficult to deliver beer and wave to people I’d normally greet with a hug.

With that in mind we’re going to be doing some zoom type bar evenings where you can drink beer if you want to and you can drink tea if you want to. Obviously it won’t recreate the ambience of the taproom (although at this time of year it will at least be warmer). Get in touch if you’d like to be part of that. We’ll also be launching some tutored beer tasting and other online events very soon indeed.

In summary, if you want to take a period of abstinence we’re still here for you but if you want to have a beer please support your local independents. We support small manufacturers and wholesalers which will help to keep the UK’s vibrant beer and cider scene going but we also offer contact free deliveries which has to be safer that visiting a supermarket.

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