On 12 March, via a pleasant walk along a former railway line, I visited the Bull in Highgate to visit some local brewers, Gorgeous, and sample some of their excellent bottled beers. Little did I know that it would be close to being one of my final pub visits for some time. But we need not totally panic, for Gorgeous, along with nearly 70 other London breweries, have gone into the ‘beer at home’ service. Those longer of tooth might remember Davenports in Birmingham doing this until the 1970s but today breweries face a very different challenge.
Clearly we can’t go to a pub to drink their beer but we can continue to support beer in London by taking advantage of their delivery services. And we can also look at the different and innovative ways that many pubs have come up with to help their business weather the crisis. The Duke of Hamilton in Hampstead, for instance, is making hot food deliveries (see ). Others, such as the Brave Sir Robin are encouraging the purchase of ‘vouchers’ or ‘gift cards’ for their eventual reopening, often offering an uplift in value. Another option, as taken by the Earth Tap in Wood Green, is crowdfunding.
There are plenty of ways that you can help support your favourite local business during this time of crisis while still adhering to the Government advice on social distancing measures.
CAMRA also has a list of breweries offering these services on its website, or visit our friends Beer Guide London for a comprehensive one page list of breweries, bottle shops and pubs which they update daily.
As stated, some brewery taprooms, such as Muswell Hillbilly, are open for a take-away service (see ) so you can get still enjoy cask beer. Breweries such as Redemption and Sambrook’s are also offering mini-pins and mini-kegs of various sizes. Other breweries offering similar services are mentioned in our Brewery News column. There is a wide choice out there, so, to help our local pubs and breweries, go direct; they will appreciate it! And so will you; I know I have.
(This note was originally e-mailed to CAMRA North London branch members on 21 April.)