Almost a thousand small independent breweries, bottle shops and retailers across the UK and Europe have signed up to Beer is Here – a not for profit website aimed at supporting them throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
Beer is Here has been created by Simply Hops, the leading supplier of hop products, in bid to connect consumers with local breweries who could suffer greatly or even potentially close over the next three months if they don’t gain support.
It’s being supported by the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) as well as Simpsons Malt, Muntons, Lallemand Yeast, Brewers Select, SSV ltd and Bottleshops Online.
All people have to do is simply enter their postcode to find out where they can easily get beer delivered to their homes.
So far 984 breweries, bottle shop and taprooms have signed up to the site (572 in the UK) and 34,898 people using it to search.
John Willetts, Director at Simply Hops, said: “The reality is that these independent breweries, taprooms, bottle shops and retailers will close if we do not support them in this difficult time.
“Simply Hops along with SIBA, and our other friends of craft beer, Simpsons Malt and Lallemand Yeast, just wanted to do what we could to help the fantastic independent brewers across the UK and Europe get through this tough time.
“We felt that helping them change the shape of their businesses during this time when the bulk sales of beer to pubs, restaurants and taprooms have suddenly stopped was a small thing to do.
“We want people to be aware that there are a lot of ways to get great beer to your house and try lots of different beers and support the large number of small business people that need it right now.
“This is a free of charge, not for profit service that allows all true lovers of great beer to find all the independent breweries, retailers or taprooms that can deliver to their door, therefore supporting the small brewers and giving the consumers a real opportunity to connect with breweries they may never have even heard of before.
“We are looking for some beer patriotism, and for consumers to make a small extra effort to save the beautiful diversity of beer that now exists.
“We want to make sure the product everyone in our industry has dedicated their whole lives to is still here for people during and after this unusual and difficult time.
“Its what the craft beer scene is all about really.
“Working together to lift each other up when it’s needed.”
Top 20 cities where people have searched for local breweries across the UK
London – 6,702
Bristol – 818
Birmingham – 715
Leeds – 593
Manchester – 574
Nottingham – 457
Edinburgh – 387
Newcastle Upon Tyne – 313
Glasgow – 311
Sheffield – 283
Cardifif – 273
Liverpool – 261
Brighton – 150
Reading – 143
Irvine – 137
Southampton – 121
Cambrige – 119
Croydon – 119
Portsmouth – 103
Oxford – 101
The full map shows each UK county and how many breweries have signed up so far.
John adds: “It has been extremely well received so far with almost 1000 breweries signed up, and 34,898 people already logged on to find some great beer from their independent producers.
“I am not surprised though because this is what craft beer is all about; sharing resources to support each other through good times and bad.
“It is a unique industry, and this shows that it’s producing a product that people both love and want.”
James Calder, SIBA Chief Executive, said: “Independent beer businesses across Europe are under incredible pressure, with many struggling to keep afloat.
“The BeerisHere initiative is something SIBA are very happy to support and which we believe will have a hugely positive effect on all involved.
“If you run a beer business providing takeaway services, local delivery, or other low-contact sales options anywhere in Europe then we would strongly encourage you to get involved.”
Kier McAllister Wilde, owner of Wilde Child Brewery in Leeds, said: ”This website will be a lifeline for our brewery.
“It’s vitally important to keep our heads above water, but we really need a sustainable route to the local market to keep ticking over in these exceptional times.
“There will be major issues if the network of breweries and good beer goes away.
“Beer delivery drivers are just as important and essential as any other delivery drivers at this time.”
Andy Parker Director at Elusive Brewing Limited in Berkshire said: “It’s great to see key brewing industry suppliers support independent pubs, bars and breweries during these challenging times by helping to spread the word about our services.
“These direct sales are the only thing which will keep us afloat.
“We are currently dispensing via our taproom, so having one central place for locals to be able to find us, who haven’t discovered him before will be a big help to keep my wife and I going through the coming months.”
Scott Steffens, Head of Brewing at Dois Corvos Cervejeira in Portugal, said: “Our sales went off a cliff this week with all of our direct customers and distributors closing due to the coronavirus.
“With the recent State of Emergency in place in Portugal, everyone is doing their part to stay isolated.
“It’s great that the craft breweries are coming together to get beer to people through this global crisis and to provide these simple pleasures.
“At least we can have that common sense of discovery and trying new things that craft beer always brings – even when we’re stuck at home.
“Craft beer is a simple luxury that makes life better – wherever you are.”