Update from the brewery  

This year has been a year none of us could have ever expected, and it has brought challenge to the whole world. As we start to look to ease lockdown conditions, and start some move towards a new normality, we are busy planning for the future.

Since pubs closed two months ago, we have been brewing solely for bottled beer, and running with a skeleton crew. This has enabled us to satisfy an increased online sales presence, and most importantly allowed us to keep our yeast going.

It is clear pubs will not re-open for a few more weeks, and they will look and feel very different to the pubs pre-C19. Social distancing will be a great challenge for most pubs, but we are looking at how we can make this work, and what we need to do to keep people safe, but still be able to provide hospitality. Many of our pubs have large gardens, and these will be a key feature, as it is likely numbers inside pubs will have to be reduced to maintain some social distancing. We are looking at table service, flow of people traffic, service stations, sanitary and hygiene stations, and what we think the offer should be. All a big challenge, but one which all our pubs are embracing, and working towards a safe but enjoyable pub experience.

The Brewery Shop has been closed since March, but this will re-open on Saturday, and then be open Tuesday to Saturday initially. We are re-organising the shop to manage social distancing, and this will also provide good learnings for when pubs hopefully re-open in a few weeks. We will of course need all our lovely customers to respect the measures in place, and work with us. It will be a learning curve, but your and our safety is paramount.

We have a great range of new beers, as we have moved our planned guest cask ale programme to a bottled beer programme. We have brewed some new beers, with more to come, and will also have a draught take out offer available. Brewery tours are currently closed, and we have yet to decide when these will recommence, again safety of staff and customers is the key factor.

It has been an extremely hard time for everyone, and we understand how it will be a gradual return to a new normal. We acknowledge the huge support from our staff and our pubs, and we will emerge from this stronger and ready for the new challenges.

Thank you all for your support, for continuing to enjoy our lovely beers, and we look forward to a pint of cask ale in the pub.

Stay safe, stay alert, be safe.

James Clarke, Managing Director, Hook Norton Brewery.