Craft beer equipment and cellars back in to mothballs as from the 4th January with the licensed industry under increasing strain. Expected to last until the vaccine priority list (top 4 tiers) have had the vaccination. Now more than ever publicans feeling the strain are looking at long term savings. Moreover, a positivity that has prevailed throughout despite the onerous cost to the licensed trade. Some of the figures and statistics are eye watering and make for uncomfortable reading. The industry’s leading figures advise over 10,000 of 47,200 British pubs could close their doors forever. Without increased support there are fears 300,000 jobs could also be lost. This is on top of the 800,000 jobs already lost while Revolution Bars posted a £32 million loss. These figures prior to the third lockdown taking effect. What future can those businesses, that can navigate this 3rd lockdown, look forward to?

Together with mitigating any further loss will the licensed industry’s business model change forever. What savings can independents make on equipment, maintenance, storage and fixed costs. Knowing full well the cost of a callout charge and a maintenance contract proactive beats reactive. Now more than ever will the resilient and resourceful publican be even more hands on. Will those that survive be leaner and battle hardened and, in a position, to seize opportunity and diversify. Will publicans look to craft beer equipment to brew their own flagship ales for increased margins. Asides from set up costs and possibly the advice of a head brewer by default this is the industry passion. Asides from the obvious social experience how does the industry entice the punter back through it’s doors. Compounded by the boom in home brewing and man caves during intermittent lockdowns.

Craft beer equipment for sale (suppliers)

In 2015 the BBPA reported that in excess of 40% of the 48,000 pubs in the UK were independent. This entrepreneurial spirit hasn’t gone away and it is what sets the independents apart. These landlords free from the constraints of corporate suits have carved a niche and operate on their own terms. Diversifying away from the traditional pub fare and expectations to local produce and their own flagship craft beers. The shift to ownership down to the government initiative (Beer Orders) to break up the large brewer monopoly. Asides from the increase of independents the further rise in micro breweries has confirmed this entrepreneurial spirit. Together with the more discerning palette of the pub goer the surge in brew houses and tap rooms.

While it is clear the independent will still have the running expenses they are free to source investment wherever. They are also in full control of their capital costs. Whether this be cellar cooling systems, beer coolers, post mix systems or back bar equipment. With the investment required and in the current climate how does the independent raise capital. Commercial lenders typically lending up to 75% however with the devastation to commercial property funds there is little room for optimism. While high street banks have been increasingly fickle towards the hospitality industry. Tied houses have invariably gone to brewery loans or AOD loans but sacrificed their discount on barrelage. The AOD loans no more than confirm how the independent can flourish away from the big breweries. We will be looking further at finance options in future posts. For advice and support also please refer to not for profit Pub is the Hub.