As Christmas approaches, craft beer breweries act with caution and prepare for another difficult period. 

The UK government announced yesterday Greater Manchester will stay under tier 3 restrictions.

“We were ready and prepared for the announcement,” says Simon Coot, manager at Seven Bro7hers. It has a brewery and pop up taproom based in Media City.

He said: “Bars persistent restrictions since the end of July, and continuing to stay shut in tier 3 has been very challenging. Tier 2 has been very difficult as well.

“We have adapted to circumstances quite well. We are very happy to see our sales continue to rise this year.

“Although our tap has been closed, our Breweries have been doing business as usual. We are really grateful for all the orders that have come through.

“Black Friday was also fantastic for us. Hopefully, over Christmas more people will try our beers then will become new customers in January.

“But January is usually a quiet period as people tend to save after Christmas or do dry-January.”

Social distancing has brought challenges as they had to set up new measures in the office

“The furlough scheme has been really helpful for us. But we have had to get used to managing people with social distancing restrictions,” Coot continued.

“We’ve had no choice but to get used to everyone in our bubble.”

Sales manager at Marble Beers, Paul Plowman said: “Personally it’s a strange period.” He looks after customers but has been focusing on the new website.

“Our staff work three-times per week and are furloughed on the other days. Whereas I come in four-times per week.

“We’ve been working really hard this year but we feel as though we are not reaping the rewards we usually do at this time.

“And sadly our sales are nowhere near enough to justify our wage bill.

“To cope with the lockdown restrictions we’ve had to adapt. We’ve started focusing on our website and doing more deliveries. Houses around Stockport and Manchester get free delivery.

“We’re a cask led business so most of it is centred around trade. We’ve introduced new beers in bottles and cans.”

Cask ale is unfiltered beer stored in a barrel. When served it is poured into a pint.

“But we are known for our traditional beers such as Manchester bitter and Earl Grey IPA,” Coot added.


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