Publicans in the UK are finally able to welcome guests both outdoors and indoors. Many beer lovers have certainly missed devouring tasty draught beers, but also the important social side of the pubs.

Autor: Malin Norman

The reopening of pubs in the UK is well underway. As publicans were allowed to welcome guests back to their outdoor spaces on 12 April, there was a huge demand for draught beer when millions of people returned to the pubs and shared their “first pint in the pub” photos on social media. 

From 17 May, they are also allowed to serve customers indoors, however still with some Covid rules in place. James Calder, chief executive at the Society of Independent Brewers, responded to the positive progress with inside serving; “The majority of pubs simply do not have the outdoor space to make opening outdoors commercially viable, meaning most have remained closed. Now as pubs are able to invite customers back inside the industry is finally able to begin on its road to recovery.”

The importance of pubs

Lots of people have no doubt missed the pubs and taprooms, not just for the fresh draught beer but also for the social benefits. Pub is The Hub, a non-profit organisation that helps pubs to diversify and provide essential local services, has just published a report measuring the social value impact of pub services. It confirms that pubs and publicans ensured that essential services remained accessible to local residents at the heart of their communities during the Covid-19 lockdowns. In fact, for every £1 invested, between £8.98 and £9.24 of additional social value was created.

John Longden, chief executive of Pub is The Hub, said; “The important social impact of publicans’ responses to local needs has often been essential to get people through the pandemic. As the market fully reopens publicans and pubs are going to be crucial in helping local areas rebuild as well as aiding Government priorities for economic recovery.”

Interview with Paul Davies

I had a chat with Paul Davies, founder of AleHunters and organiser of beer tours in London and Belgium, about returning to the pubs and taprooms. 

Why are pubs and taprooms important?

Pubs are community hubs, especially out of city centres, and many single people relied on pubs for social interaction. My local had a permanently reserved table for a gang of ‘old boys’ who met up every night of the week. Whenever I joined them for a beer I was referred to as the ‘young upstart’ which is sweet.

Many servers haven’t worked since over a year ago and may have been lucky enough to move to a different sector – but will they return? Some pubs haven’t survived lockdown, along with some breweries. So economic, social and wellbeing reasons come to the fore when considering the impact of pubs re-opening.

What are you looking forward to next?

I’m really looking forward to being able to go to independent beer pubs, support them by drinking lots of quality cask and keg beer, and also getting out a bit more and exploring pubs that have been recommended to me in areas of London that I don’t go to that often such as Hackney, Walthamstow, Acton, and Peckham. 

Also spending my crowdfunding pledges at Solvay Society and Werewolf Brewing, visiting the new Jawbone taproom in Twickenham and exploring some potentially new taproom tour routes, Hackney Wick and Walthamstow. Finally I’m just looking forward to some great weather (hopefully) and seeing businesses that have been brought to their knees thriving again, with customers smiling and enjoying ‘the light’.

You can read more about Paul’s recent brewery tours in London here.

Photo credits: Paul Davies