Wigan ale fans lobbying MPs for pubs alcohol sales U-turn

Borough beer enthusiasts are being urged to join ale drinkers across the country and urge politicians to overturn a lockdown ban on boozers selling takeaway alcohol.

Monday, 18th January 2021, 9:26 am
Updated Monday, 18th January 2021, 9:30 am

The Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) is urging politicians to think again over the current restrictions on boozers.

Pubs are currently only allowed to sell alcohol if they deliver it to customers’ doorsteps.

This is tighter than the conditions they have previously operated under. In previous lockdowns takeaway sales and click-and-collect were permitted.

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Wigan Camra chair Sandy Motteram

After almost a year of the hospitality industry being shut down Camra says it is alarmed at the prospects for the sector if it is not able to make the most of any opportunity to get money in the coffers.

And real ale fans in the borough are urging residents to do their bit to support independent beer locally.

Wigan Camra chair Sandy Motteram said: “During the first lockdown legislation was quite quickly passed enabling pubs to compete on something like a level playing field with off-licences and supermarkets.

“Since they can still sell cans and bottles of beer it seems ludicrous that pubs shouldn’t be allowed to compete with them and are forced to sell by delivery only.

“Pubs have had a really short deal in terms of the financial support they have been given compared to much bigger organisations.

“They need every lifeline that’s on offer. Not even letting them do click and collect just seems perverse.

“Wigan has eight breweries in its branch area. Breweries haven’t even had the level of support pubs have had, and that isn’t enough in itself.

“It’s going to take something special for pubs and breweries to be able to ride this latest lockdown and come out the other side of it.

“We would really encourage people to support local breweries, pubs and bars and order beer to be delivered.”

Camra has prepared a template for people to lobby their local MP over the ban on pubs serving takeaway beer.

Supporters can either send the default wording or add comments backing the beer industry of their own.

Mr Motteram said Camra had also launched a new app, Brew 2 You, helping people find independent businesses they can support by ordering beer from.

And he urged anyone thinking of cutting back on alcohol in January to buy at least some higher-quality or more expensive tipple to drink in moderation while still offering financial support to beleaguered producers and sellers.

To sign the e-petition, visit https://camra.e-activist.com/page/73809/action/1

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