Suffolk brewer Adnams cancels rent as pubs prepare for second lockdown
PUBLISHED: 14:52 02 November 2020 | UPDATED: 09:10 03 November 2020
Adnams will stop charging its tenants rent through the second lockdown, with immediate effect – after it emerged pubs will not be able to serve takeaway alcohol.
The Southwold brewer, which owns pubs throughout Suffolk and north Essex, took a similar decision to cancel rents in its tenanted pubs in March.
Now, Nick Attfield, director of properties, confirmed the brewery would do the same for the second lockdown.
“We’ll do what we can to help our tenants through the lockdown,” he said.
“But any financial help we get from the government is very welcome.”
Mr Attfield said mothballing the business had been “easier this time around”.
He said: “It’s more straightforward because we’ve done it before.
“But from an emotional and personal perspective of course, it’s still complicated.
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“At least this time we understand the furlough scheme. Back in the spring, we thought we were telling people they were losing their jobs.”
Despite this, he said the government’s decision to ban takeaway alcohol sales from pubs was a “big frustration”.
“During the first lockdown, takeaways provided a viable income stream for many of our pubs,” he said.
“And if I’m being honest, I think it provided sanity for our publicans.”
“We’re still waiting for clarification on a lot of points – but from previous experience, we know it can sometimes come two or three days later.”
James Calder, chief executive of the Society of Independent Brewers, said the decision to ban takeaway alcohol sales was “baffling considering supermarkets will presumably still be allowed to sell packaged beer, while small breweries and pubs will not”.
He added: “It is nonsensical to impose these new restrictions when pubs have time and time again proved that they are Covid-secure, both during lockdown when takeaway was their only option and since pubs re-opened on July 4.”
Adam Button, head of sales at Coddenham-based Calvors, said as much as 90% of its beer will be going into cans rather than kegs – in part due to the ban on takeaway sales.
He said: “Some of what we’re brewing is going to go into kegs ready for when pubs reopen in December.
“Most of the rest of it will continue to go into cans.”
The brewery has already received orders from stores that have experienced an uptick in demand. It has more meetings with stockists lined up.
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