FAQs: Selling Beer During Lockdown
The below FAQs refer to businesses trading during the second lockdown commencing 5th Nov 2020, and are correct as of 9.25am, 6th November 2020.
If you have any questions or believe there to be an error or omission in any of the following please email firstname.lastname@example.org
I have a brewery taproom. Do the rules applying to pubs apply to breweries?
Yes, they do. Brewery taprooms are hospitality venues so if you want to sell takeaway beer from your taproom, then you must follow the new pre-order rules.
I have a brewery shop. Do the rules applying to pubs apply to brewery shops?
No. If you are licensed correctly for off sales, then this is an off license and falls under Part 3 of the regulations – businesses permitted to remain open. Trade as you have been.
If I am a brewery can I sell beer from the brewery gate/click and collect?
Part 3 of the regulations make clear that breweries are businesses permitted to remain open. If you have been selling beer in small pack or mini keg from your brewery in click and collect or other mechanism – and have the right license to do so – trade as you have been.
Do I need to take pre-orders from beer sold in my brewery shop, or from the gate?
No. Pre-orders only apply to pubs and taprooms which are hospitality venues. Customers can ‘turn up’ and buy beer from your brewery shop or brewery gate if you facilitate this without pre-order.
What type of containers can I sell beer in?
There are no restrictions on the type of container that beer can be sold in. Breweries are permitted in any container including bottles, cans, growlers, crowlers, refillable bottles and open containers including plastic pints.
Some local authorities seem to be insisting only closed containers can be sold from hospitality venues, but nowhere in the legislation or guidance restricts this. This has been verified by the Department for Business which leads on Hospitality regs.
Online orders were a huge part of our business in Lockdown 1. Can we continue to do this?
Yes, you can. Trade as you have been.
What hours can I sell beer?
It can be sold at any time subject to permitted hours on your premises licence for drinking off and away from the premises. The 10pm curfew does not apply.
Can customers sit outside the brewery to drink beer?
You cannot provide seating for customers that would otherwise be used to drink beer. But customers could theoretically occupy public spaces to drink takeaway pints as long as they are not congregating with more than one other person outside their household or support bubble.
Can I have people within my pub?
Not for alcohol sales. Food and drink can be sold at the venue between 5am-10pm for takeaway only and customers can collect this inside as long a they wear a face covering and follow 1m+. You can also have customers inside your pub if you are converting your pub to a shop selling other essential goods, or if you have been running your pub as a shop already.
Otherwise you have to take pre-orders in line with the regulations and if selling alcohol for takeaway, they cannot collect from inside your pub.
You can only sell beer if you can do:
- A delivery to the customer (which is made by a website, phone call, text or post)
- A pre-ordered ‘click and collect’ collection provided the customer does not enter the premises (which is made by a website, phone call, text or post).
- A drive through order provided the alcohol is passed to the customer without them leaving the car.
Customers must be in their homes, outside your pub or in their cars when having beer handed to them. This should be done contact free.
How do I convert my pub into a shop?
Throughout lockdown 1, many pubs started selling bread, fruit and vegetables etc alongside alcohol. This is a perfectly acceptable thing to do to supplement your income but should NOT be viewed as a ‘get around’ of the new regulations. Trading standards, police and EHO’s will be aware of this.
How best to take orders in advance?
Many ways exist of doing this, but app based, or web based solutions are the easiest and can process payment for you. You can also advertise your telephone number outside the pub to facilitate orders, and for people to ring in.
Do customers have to pre-order if I do drive throughs?
If you can offer a drive through facility, customers do not need to pre-order, so long as they do not leave their car.
What hours can I sell beer from my pub?
Can be sold at any time subject to permitted hours on your premises licence for drinking off and away from the premises. The 10pm curfew does not apply to takeaway beer.
Can I sell open pints of beer in plastic cups to use up what is in my cellar?
As long as these are pre-ordered in line with the above and can be sold with your license conditions, yes you can. Nothing within the regulations prohibits the sale of open containers. We would advise against serving open plastic pints to those who use a drive through, for obvious reasons.
What if people congregate outside my pub?
It is your responsibility to ensure this doesn’t happen. Customers are not permitted to congregate with more than one other person outside their household or support bubble. Government spokespeople have specifically said the new restrictions are intended to prevent this from happening. You may be liable if this occurs.
Can I sell cans and bottles from my pub?
As long as these are pre-ordered by the customer as above or from a drive through, then yes you can.
Can I order more beer from my local brewery?
If you think you can sell enough takeaway beer throughout November then we would absolutely encourage pubs to buy more kegs and casks. But be cautious – if you cannot, then destruction will need to happen.
Can I sell draught beer in milk cartons/jugs/growlers?
Yes, as long as these are pre-ordered or from a drive through. The measures within the Business and Planning Act giving all holders of on-licenses automatic off licenses and these still apply. You can sell beer in disposable, sealed cartons that you provide. If a customer brings a growler, then they must pass this to you without entering the premises and have it returned to them, full of beer without entering.
Can I take payment at the pub?
We believe you can, as long as the customer doesn’t enter the premises and payment is contact free.
Should staff wear facemasks?
Staff should continue to wear facemasks and whilst it is not mandatory, we would encourage customers to wear face coverings too, even if they are outside your pub when collecting.
FOR BOTTLE SHOPS
Can I continue to operate?
Yes. You fall under ‘off licenses’ (like breweries) and are permitted to remain open under Part 3.
We do growler fills from our bottle shop. Can we continue to do this?
Yes, and you do not need to take pre-orders as Part 3 applies to you.
Customers can not drink on the premises.