Sunderland brewery's relief that Government 'sees sense' with lockdown u-turn on takeout sales
A brewery boss has spoken of his relief that the Government has “seen sense” in backtracking on a lockdown ban on takeout sales.
Maxim Brewery, makers of Sunderland’s famous Double Maxim brown ale, adapted to the first round of pandemic restrictions in March by launching a successful drive through service at its premises on the edge of the city.
Yet the Government’s draft proposals for the second lockdown, which begins on Thursday, November 5, initially prevented pubs and breweries from selling bottles and mini-casks as takeouts.
Following a u-turn late on Tuesday, however, Maxim will be able to continue its pre-order and collection service.
Mark Anderson, the brewery’s managing director, said afterwards: “I’m pleased they have seen sense because it was ridiculous what they had initially proposed where we could not sell from the safety of the rear of our premises but corner shops and anyone else could.
"People who have used our collection service have commented on how safe it is and how it is a relief for them not to have to queue in supermarkets.”
Maxim’s takeout service cushioned the £25,000 cost of having to pour away around 35,000 pints during the first lockdown.
Mr Anderson said: “We are fortunate in that we produce a lot of bottles so were able to carry on selling to shops and supermarkets.
"We wouldn’t have sunk without the takeout service. But it perhaps prevented us from having to look at redundancies.”
The Campaign for Real Ale (Camra), while welcoming the Government’s change, fears thousands of pubs and breweries may still close without the introduction of a tailored support package for the industry.
National chairman Nik Antona said after the Tuesday u-turn: “This is a vital lifeline for local pubs and breweries across England over the coming four weeks, giving them a lifeline of income and allowing people to support local businesses.
“Camra continues to call on the Government to bring in a comprehensive, long-term financial support package to support all pubs and breweries through the lockdown and the tough months that will follow this winter.
Maxim’s takeout customers can make their orders over the phone on (0191) 5848844 and then collect the beers from outdoor tables at 1 Gadwall Road, Rainton Bridge, near Houghton, on Wednesdays and Fridays between 10am-3pm and on Saturdays between 9am-noon.