Drinks producers adapt to support mass self-isolation
Drinks producers from all sectors of BWS are making swift amends to their businesses to cater for - and maintain connections with - the growing number of consumers self-isolating in their homes.
Big Drop Brewing Co is hosting a “mega virtual pub quiz” on March 24. The Living Room Pub Quiz event, which will take place 7.30pm to 10.30pm, is free and people can attend by tuning in to YouTube Live.
Big Drop’s quizmasters will ask questions live on YouTube, competitors white them down, and at the end of each round, the answers will be revealed. It is up to those taking part to mark them.
The company said: “There will be no overall prizes but for those who stay tuned throughout the live session there may be some giveaways via the live chat.” Big Drop said its range of alcohol-free beers are available for home delivery via its website and retailers.
Surrey-based Hogs Back Brewery has introduced a new drive through service for its draught, bottled and canned beers, following the Government advice that people should stay away from pubs and bars and work from home.
Customers can drive to the brewery shop, place their order (from a safe distance) and the beer is then loaded into their boot by shop staff, without the customers needing to leave their cars.
Customers can also ‘click and collect’, by visiting the brewer’s website and for customers unable to leave their homes, Hogs Back will home-deliver orders within a 15-mile radius of the brewery and further afield for orders over £40.
Owner, Rupert Thompson, said: “One of the benefits of being a small brewer is that we can act quickly. We launched our Drive Through service the day after the Government’s announcement on social distancing, and if their advice changes again, we will adapt our practices. The safety of our customers and staff is paramount.
“We are of course unhappy that pubs look set to be a casualty of the pandemic when they are often an important community hub and an effective antidote to social isolation. We hope that the many pubs stocking out TEA and other beers will be open again to customers just as soon as there is a safe way for them to do so.”
Others are offering self-isolation kits and amending their delivery services.
The Duppy Share has launched Home Rum, described as “a self-isolation kit for rum lovers”.
The producer said it is donating all profits from sales of the kit to Hospitality Action, a charity dedicated to supporting the industry during times of crisis.
The rum brand has teamed up with Fever Tree, who have donated product to support the initiative, to create the kit. The kit includes The Duppy Share Aged (20cl), Fever Tree Ginger Beer (2x20cl) and two The Duppy Share gold cups.
Pickering’s Gin also has a Gin and Tonic Survival Kit, which includes a bottle from its core range and six bottles of Fever Tree tonic. The kits, available until the end of March, qualify for free shipping in the UK.
Warner’s Distillery is also offering free delivery, along with two free Fever-Tree mixers, for those who spend more than £30 on its gin online.
And Renegade Urban Winery said it is offering free wine delivery (no minimum order) to homes with an option to leave on the doorstep. It is also offering a 10% discount for orders over £100.
Retailers: reaching out to the community
Retailers are also finding new ways to support and reach out to their communities.
A Best One convenience store in Northampton is offering free coffee to NHS staff and free deliveries for anyone who can’t get out to go shopping because of the pandemic.
Suresh Patel, who runs the convenience store with his son Kunal, is also keeping people updated on social media with the latest stock.
Kunal Patel said he now starts the day at 3am to deal with deliveries and visits to wholesalers, in order to ensure the store has plenty of stock.
Meanwhile, Majestic Wine has stopped its in-store wine tastings in order to comply with coronavirus safety advice. The company handed over the tasting budgets to its store teams as a welfare fund, “to buy things like pizzas, moisturiser, taxis etc”. In a Tweet today the retailer said its “incredible staff” have asked for the fund to be donated to local food banks instead.
“We employ some truly amazing people”, Majestic said.