Surrey-based Hogs Back Brewery is finding new ways to keep its beers flowing to customers through the coronavirus ‘lockdown’, as people heed Government advice to stay away from pubs and bars and work from home.
The brewery, in Tongham near Farnham, has introduced a new Drive Through service for its draught, bottled and canned beers, including its flagship TEA, Hogstar lager and Surrey Nirvana Session IPA. Customers simply drive up to the Brewery Shop, place their order – from a safe distance – and the beer is loaded into their boot by shop staff, without needing to leave their car.
Customers can also ‘click and collect’ by going online to www.hogsback.co.uk with orders ready for collection after 10.00 am the next day, and for those waiting for orders, beer will be served to socially-distanced tables in the open canopy area.
For customers unable to leave home, Hogs Back will home-deliver orders within a 15-mile radius of the brewery, and further afield for orders of £40 or more. The Brewery Shop remains open for business, with new social distancing measures in place and closure on Mondays to allow for deep cleaning.
While Brewery Tours have been put on hold, the Hogs Back hop garden next to the brewery is open to selected visitors, and hop growth unaffected by Covid-19. Members of the Tongham Tea Club loyalty club and other customers will be invited to the garden in the coming months to enjoy some fresh air and, with suitable distancing, help trim and train the young hop plants.
Hogs Back Brewery owner Rupert Thompson said: “One of the benefits of being a small brewer is that we can act quickly. We launched our Drive Through service the day after the Government’s announcement on social distancing, and if their advice changes again, we will adapt our practices. The safety of our customers and staff is paramount.
“We are of course unhappy that pubs look set to be a casualty of the pandemic when they are often an important community hub and an effective antidote to social isolation. We hope that the many pubs stocking our TEA and other beers will be open again to customers just as soon there is a safe way for them to do so.
“In the meantime, we’re delighted with the response from our customers, who have embraced the Drive Through and home delivery options to enjoy their favourite Hogs Back beers during these difficult times. Twelve weeks of lockdown will surely seem even longer without a glass of locally-brewed beer now and again!”