Wigan breweries are pulling together during pandemic
With last orders having been called months ago and the social distancing era throwing up major questions for boozers, Wigan Camra is backing a national campaign to highlight how the beer scene is keeping going and encourage residents to buy local.
Pulling Together is supporting venues and ale producers by showcasing what they are currently doing during the period of lockdown.
The sector has come up with a number of innovative ways to continue, including home deliveries, virtual and online events and getting involved in the efforts to support local communities.
Pulling Together is also asking local beer enthusiasts to do what they can to support breweries and pubs while they have been forced to close.
Roy Pearson from Wigan Camra said: “With no provisional date set by the government for re-opening, the prolonged closure threatens the very existence of pubs, clubs and breweries.
“Even upon re-opening, any social distancing measures within pubs will have an inevitable impact upon their financial viability.
“Fewer customers means less beer consumption which would impact upon breweries.
“Our local pubs and breweries need public support more than ever before to weather this storm. While supporting the industry, we also recognise that many people are losing the valuable social connection that is part of the fabric of pub-going right when they need it most.”
Pubs and other beer organisations around the borough have found a number of ways to respond to the current challenge, although many have also had to take up offers such as the furlough scheme for employees. Wigan Central is running activities and services including home deliveries, a Facebook group for enthusiasts to share new ale discoveries and a virtual version of the popular quiz.
The Foresters Arms at Shevington Moor has been delivering thousands of meals to vulnerable residents and linked up with other local organisations to support the community.
The Fox at Roby Mill has also been providing a food takeaway service and delivering hampers to residents.
Wigan Camra itself has been getting in on the act as well, setting up its own virtual pub, the Stay Inn, where ale fans can meet and chat.
Breweries such as Prospect and Wigan Brew House have also been finding ways to get their products directly into the hands of customers.
Pulling Together hopes to encourage Wiganers to support the various delivery schemes these independent, local businesses are running, rather than solely relying on national supermarket chains to buy alcohol during the pandemic.
The borough’s Pulling Together website also contains a form where beer-related businesses can give details of what they are currently doing.
Wigan Camra said there were 247 pubs and clubs in the borough at the time of lockdown, with 130 of them serving real ale.
The borough is also home to nine breweries.
The national real ale campaign has also set up a number of schemes to support the industry, including a Pay It Forward idea where customers can put money down for meals or drinks in the future.
To find out more about the scheme, visit the website http://pullingtogether.wigancamra.org.uk/