Brewers face bleak Christmas if pubs forced to stay shut

Brewers have warned they face an uncertain Christmas due to the number of pubs that will remain shut over the period.

Stonehouse Brewery director Shane Parr
Stonehouse Brewery director Shane Parr

Due to the Tier restrictions limiting the opening of many pubs, brewers have been wary not to over stock beer and are concerned about the impacts it will have on trading during what would normally be one of their busiest times of the year.

One business which has felt the cost of the restrictions is Stonehouse Brewery, based near Oswestry, which supplies pubs in England and Wales.

Director Shane Parr said: “Over half of the pubs we supply are over the border in Wales so the fact they have had to close again now has hurt the business.”

Market Drayton-based Joule’s Brewery, which owns pubs in Shropshire and Staffordshire, said many of its taphouses are also finding it “unfeasible” to open.

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Vicky Colclough, brand director of Joule’s, said: “Christmas this year is certainly looking a little different.

"Because the pubs are facing some very tough trading restrictions, with over half of our taphouses in Tier 3 and some in Tier 2, they are finding opening unfeasible.”

Gary Walters, owner of Ludlow Brewing Company, said: “We are worse off than before lockdown with the Tier 2 restrictions which are unviable for us, as we don’t serve substantial meals – we are a community hub welcoming tourists and regulars who like to meet up and have a pint.”

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