Say Cheers to the Beer
Beer Day Britain (15 June) and Father’s Day (21 June) are two huge events on the on trade calendar. This year’s celebrations will certainly be different, however, with so many people still wishing to mark these occasions there are still plenty of opportunities for outlets to be social, sell a variety of beers and provide your turnover with a much-needed boost.
“This is a really hard time for the brewing and pubs industry as a whole, and we are counting on beer lovers and pub goers to band together to help keep the industry going during this time,” says Katie Wiles, senior communications manager for CAMRA.
Whether you have set up a pub hub,offer a click and collect option or run a delivery service – or are now thinking of starting one up – here are some ideas to help you get the most out of each event.
Best of British
The British craft beer scene is really vibrant at present with over 200producers, according to the independent brewery Best of British Beer. With the quality and variety of brews never better,flying the flag for all things British could be a winning formula.
“It is quite a strange time and buying habits have changed hugely. We have seen a 10-fold increase in sales since lockdown was introduced,” says Gill Sherwin, co-founder of Best of British. Customers of this Staffordshire independent brewery tend to want variety, not specific beers but this has recently changed, according to Gill. “We are now getting pub-drinking customers who want more traditional beers such as Oakham ale, any Joseph Holts beer, Windsor and Eton and Bowland. As soon as these beers come in (by the pallet) they’re out of stock the next day.”
Bottle conditioned beers have always been Best of British Beer’s best sellers and that trend has continued as people are replicating cask conditioned beers. “Going forward, I think these circumstances will encourage people to drink more packaged beer. Traditional cask drinkers often say you can’t beat a pint of draught beer but from feedback we’ve had they’ve realised that a good bottle can far outweigh an average draught pint,” explains Gill.
Things to do
Beer festival package – why not put together a beer festival package for your customers? Not only would it help make the events more fun and interesting, but you can offer gift packs for Father’s Day – for collection or delivery. Try teaming up with a local brewery if you need help. The Ale House in Clitheroe, Lancashire created an Easter Sunday beer festival package. For £30, customers received three pints of Black Iris, one pint of First Chop and Cloudwater, one can of Beavertown, one bottle of Brewdog and one can of cider, plus pub snacks.
Live entertainment – a virtual quiz, open mic night or live singer are just some ways in which outlets are taking to social media and video platforms to bring entertainment into the homes of their customers. These activities help to tackle the boredom and social isolation being felt by many, and reminds them that you are still in business.
A virtual cheers – the focus of Beer Day Britain is the National Cheers To Beer at 7pm. This entails people raising a glass of beer and saying ‘Cheers To Beer’ and then posting a social media message with the hashtag #CheersToBeer. Get your customers to all do the same by advertising it on your social media,website or leaving a note in their order!
Deals & offers – offers like £5 for two pints or BOGOF encourage sales and repeat custom. For Father’s Day why not encourage customers to buy one-off specialty brews or offer vouchers via your social media pages to spend once restrictions are lifted like The White Cross Inn, in Groeswen, Caerphilly is doing.
CAMRA has partnered with the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) and Crowdfunder to launch the #PullingTogether campaign which aims to help the on trade industry weather the COVID-19 pandemic. The idea is to support and promote outlets who are doing something a little different to stay afloat, such as by offering takeaway services or online delivery, to encourage and inspire other outlets who are wondering what to do. For inspiration visit their map to see who is serving what in your local area: camra.org.uk/pullingtogether/
“We’d encourage any pub trying to stay afloat during this period to submit their event to us via the page so that we can help cross-promote it. They should also share with their local community via local facebook groups and their own webpages so that people know where to go to get fresh, local beer,” says Katie Wiles, senior communications manager for CAMRA.
Be sure that the person you are selling/delivering alcohol to is 18 and over, and make this known to the customer when purchasing. If the customer who collects/accepts the order looks under 25, ensure they have ID.