Is anyone else struggling to believe that it’s already July? According to this cool interactive article that was trending on Twitter earlier this week, it’s new experiences that create memories, and help our brains to process the passing of time. Since there’s not been much of that going on lately, no wonder it feels like the last few months have flown by- even though many of us have experienced more prolonged boredom than we thought possible in our adult lives…
Our hearts go out to the many families who have suffered losses and we know that this situation is far from over. Nonetheless, the tentative reopening of hospitality last weekend was undoubtedly a milestone. So this feels like a good moment to pause and reflect on everything that’s been going on at the brewery over the last few months.
When lockdown first kicked in many of us were saying things like “see you in April!” and “let’s just wait a few weeks and see how things are”. Of course, it didn’t take long for us to realise that lockdown wasn’t something we could just wait out until things got back to normal. We were going to need to adapt, and make some difficult decisions. We made the call to put members of staff on furlough, and sadly had to destroy a lot of kegged beer which couldn’t be sold while pubs were still closed. We continued brewing, but much less often. We know that we’ve been incredibly lucky to have the full support of our partners at Heineken during this time, helping to keep Jez, Mike, Libby & Xochitl’s stress levels (reasonably) under control.
Like so many London breweries we found purpose by focusing on ways we could help and support our community: we sent beer to NHS workers, donated £1280 of proceeds from our t-shirt and brewer’s yeast sales to Brixton Foodbank and sponsored some amazing virtual live music. We also created a colouring competition to help those isolating kill some time and were absolutely blown away by the response. More than anything we’ve been deeply grateful for the orders coming in through our webshop which have meant we’ve been able to continue getting our beer out there– it’s genuinely meant the world to us.
We are incredibly proud of our entire team who have shown amazing resilience and dedication throughout this time. What felt like bad timing, but actually ended up being good timing, was that our new Brand Marketing Manager (Sophie) and Graphic Designer (Ellie) both joined the business at the very start of lockdown. In a period when people have been more available than ever to engage with us online, this has meant that we’ve been able to focus on creating great content and initiatives to keep conversations going with our drinkers, when doing so IRL has been impossible.
And despite the incredible difficulties faced by the trade we’ve been amazed by how supportive everyone has been of each other and by the many creative ways that our customers adapted their businesses during lockdown- turning bars into delis, takeaway restaurants and bottle shops. It has been a great opportunity for us to build some new relationships and strengthen old ones.
We absolutely loved seeing bars and restaurants starting to reopen last weekend- it feels like Brixton is finally getting its groove back. For now we have made the decision to keep our taproom operating a takeaway only service since we don’t feel that we have the space to implement social distancing effectively inside- but even so it’s been amazing to see so many of you pop in for a takeaway pint (or to grab a mini-keg en route to the park).
We will continue to take things slowly as everyone gets a feel for the best way to enjoy our new freedoms responsibly, but we have plenty of cool plans in the works so stay tuned for some news in the coming weeks!
In the meantime, thanks again to everyone who has been on this journey with us. Stay awesome!
Love Team BB x