UK: Brewers increasing beer production in preparation for lockdown lifting in April
Breweries are increasing beer production as pubs are set to welcome punters back to beer gardens from April 12, the Lancashire Telegraph reported on March 25.
Some breweries have begun brewing but at a lower rate than they would if pubs were not subject to restrictions as many pubs are expected to be much quieter due to limited seating and potentially bad weather.
Some pubs have decided to hold off opening until hospitality is also open indoors scheduled for May 17.
Andrew Buchanan, Thwaites director of pubs and brewing, has said that they began brewing again last week and have 2,500 pints brewing ready to go out to their pubs in the coming weeks.
He said: "Beer will start going into pubs during the week after Easter Monday.
"Before then we will have brewed around 2,500 pints and it's just great that we are in a position to welcome customers back."
The brewery, which brews cask beer for its own pubs which are located up and down the country, is initially hoping to re-open about 75 per cent of its pubs.
Of its portfolio, only a quarter will be open seven days a week with most only opening on the weekend due to the demand the brewery is expecting.
He added: "If we get to half of the level of normal trade then we would be absolutely delighted.
"Half would be fantastic but so much of that is dependent on the weather."
Before lockdown, the Three B's Brewery in Darwen was brewing for pubs across Lancashire and Manchester however, it has reduced production to just sell in the Black Bull, Darwen, and its shop while lockdown eases.
It has doubled its output as it prepares for the Black Bull to re-open at weekends in April.
Sales executive Scott Bell said: "We are upping production now in brewing. What we have been doing is brewing once a week to put in bottles to sell in our shop.
"Now we have started to brew twice a week from today and hopefully everything works out."
As lockdown continues to ease, Scott said the brewery was hoping to begin high-scale production again like it had in the past, supplying wholesalers, shops and local pubs.
Despite some breweries beginning production for April opening, the Big Clock Brewery in Accrington is developing its facilities to create a new brewery which they will get up and running ready for when indoor hospitality begins in May.
Managing director of the microbrewery, Justin Grant said that many of the pub bosses he has spoken with are staying closed until May when pubs can welcome customers back indoors.
He said: "We have about 12 trade pubs that we work with and we keep small and local.
"Recently, we used all our stock up and we moved from the large brewery to a smaller brewery now in lockdown so we can do some more niche beers now.
"Going forward, we will keep it on a smaller scale but will wait until May, maybe June until we go out there and try selling again rather than having beer around waiting to sell it."
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