How you can support Sunderland breweries and distilleries in Lockdown 3

Sunderland brewery and distillery owners are calling on Sunderland’s support in Lockdown 3 after it’s been clarified that a clamp down on takeaway alcohol sales doesn’t apply to them.

Thursday, 7th January 2021, 7:00 am

City publicans and restaurateurs have been left in a “grey area” over takeaway alcohol sales and are awaiting clarification after the new lockdown restrictions mean they can sell takeaway food, but not alcohol, due to fears over people gathering. As it stands, they can only sell alcohol on a delivery basis.

For Sunderland breweries, such as Darwin Brewery in Sunderland Enterprise Park, and Maxim Brewery in Rainton Meadows, however, it’s business as usual as they can still offer their click & collect and drive-thru beer sales service.

Gav Sutherland, brewery and development manager at Darwin, said: "During the lockdown we will be continuing to offer home deliveries and click & collect service as safely as possible. It's been a tough time for all in hospitality and we very much appreciate the support we've had from our customers. We'll keep doing all we can to supply beer locally."

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You can support local breweries and distilleries in lockdown

Maxim Brewery, which was born from the ashes of the original Vaux, has confirmed its drive-thru beer collections are back on Wednesday and Fridays from 10am to 3pm and on the first Saturday of every month.

Jonny Graham is director of operations at Tavistock Hospitality which runs Poetic License bar and its namesake distillery in Roker, which produces a range of award-winning gins, as well as S43 Brewery in Durham.

He said: “The ban on being able to sell takeaway alcoholic drinks is something that I support as a temporary measure, in order to reduce crowds gathering and then tarnishing our industry’s reputation.

"However, it has been clearly proven that hospitality is not the main issue in the spread of Covid, but supermarkets who have been allowed to operate without any guidelines, reduced numbers, track & trace etc, have been a breeding ground for the spread of Covid.”

He’s hopeful hospitality can get back to some sort of normality after this lockdown, adding: “A lot of people want to gather to taste a proper pint, but I am sure we can keep that thought for a little while longer, so they can taste even sweeter in the summer.”

In the meantime, the popular Poetic License gins, as well as S43 beers, can be bought through their online shops for delivery.

SIBA, the Society of Independent Brewers, issued a statement saying: “The new Covid regs have been published and allow off-licences and licensed shops selling alcohol (including breweries) to remain open as before. But pubs and bars (including taprooms) can no longer do beer takeaway or click & collect.

Vaux Brewery founders Steven Smith, left, and Michael Thompson toast the brewery's new Monk Street home in Roker.

"Brewery shops and bottle shops can remain open for takeaway, click and collect, drive through and deliveries as before. We also know that the Government are still in the process of reviewing the restrictions on pubs & taprooms and we will give an update if we receive one.”

How to place an order at Sunderland breweries and distilleries

::Vaux – order its kegs and cans here.

::Poetic License – order its award-winning gins here.

Poetic License produces award-winning gins at its distillery in Roker.

::Maxim Brewery – order for collection on Tel:0191 584 8844.

::Darwin Brewery – order for collection or delivery here.

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Maxim Brewery boss Mark Anderson at the Sunderland brewery's drive through takeaway tables.