Beer left in pub cellars will have to be ‘tipped down drain’ in second lockdown

Any beer left in pub cellars following the start of a second national lockdown will have to be “tipped down the drain”, pub bosses have warned.

Under the new regulations, which come into effect on Thursday, pubs and bars will not be able to serve alcohol to take away – as was permitted during the first lockdown.

Jonathan Neame, chief executive of the Shepherd Neame brewery, said that the new measures were “soul-destroying”.

Speaking on the Today programme he said the hospitality industry had “zero trust” in the Government.

“During lockdown one there was terrific support for local pubs from local communities,” he said.

“People want their pubs, they came back in droves. They want to see the pubs survive and thrive.

“They want them to be there for their children’s generation so they bought into the take home thing.

“Now we’re told that all the beer that is in pub cellars, we can’t even sell a pint of ale as a takeaway with a meal during lockdown, so we’ve got to tip that all down the drain.”

Official guidelines state that although restaurants, bars and pubs must close from Thursday, food takeaway and delivery services are still permitted.

Several independent breweries have voiced their concerns online and asked to be given “a fighting chance” by being allowed to serve alcohol to take away.

During the first national lockdown around 2,000 pubs, breweries and cideries were put into a directory of venues, to encourage beer and cider drinkers to support the industry.

James Calder, CEO of the Society of Independent Brewers (Siba), said he had raised “urgent questions” with the Government about the restrictions on takeaway alcohol.

“Very worrying that guidance seems to suggest that pubs can continue takeaway food, but not takeaway pints,” he wrote on Twitter.

“Significant and unjustified extension over lockdown one. Have raised urgent questions with departments, MPs and Ministers.”