Harviestoun Brewery has described new covid restrictions in Scotland as a ‘devastating blow’ to breweries and pubs.
The Scottish government’s latest covid announcement has seen the closure of pubs and restaurants in the central belt of the country for more than two weeks, to curb the spread of coronavirus.
Stuart Cook, joint managing director at Harviestoun Brewery (pictured), based at Alva, near Stirling, said: “This is a devastating blow to both breweries and pubs around Scotland. Pubs shutting initially for the lockdown meant a devastating 75% of our revenue disappeared overnight. Thankfully, a nimble change in strategy to online sales allowed us to get through what was undoubtedly one of the toughest times the brewery has known. We’ve seen a record 2,000% increase in online beer and lager sales since launching our new next-day home delivery service during lockdown.
“Our deliveries to pubs and restaurants started back up in July, but are on hold again in the central belt of Scotland until an expected reopening date of 25th October. Just as the Scottish on-trade was starting to recover, though, these measures will be a devastating blow to both the local breweries and the pubs that they supply and partner with.
“All we can do at Harviestoun is continue to ramp up our online next day delivery service and hope that, for the sake of all our wonderful on-trade licensees and customers, that these measures do not extend past 25th October. There’s a balance there, and those outside the central belt will still be open to a degree, albeit the weather will be a major factor.”
Outside of the central belt of Scotland, alcohol can only be served in outdoor areas until 10pm, and Harviestoun will be able to deliver to pubs in areas not affected by the tighter restrictions.