Beer fans around the UK have spent an estimated £5 million on home delivery through Beer is Here since the start of the coronavirus lockdown.
Beer is Here was created in March by hop products supplier, Simply Hops, in a bid to connect consumers with local breweries. The platform is supported by the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA), as well as Simpsons Malt, Muntons, Lallemand Yeast, Brewers Select, SSV and Bottleshops.
Consumers can enter their postcodes to find out where they can easily get beer delivered to their homes.
So far, 1410 breweries, bottle shops and taprooms have signed up to Beer is Here, and around 76,000 people in the UK and also Europe, have used it to buy beer.
John Willetts, director at Simply Hops, said: ‘“We have been overwhelmed by the support and love of independent craft beer that has been shown through this initiative, and hope that we have helped to bring many more beer friends to the community.
“There is still a long way to go for these businesses with pubs and restaurants still not expected to open until July at the very earliest so we will be encouraging that support to continue as much as we can.
“It has been extremely well received so far with 1410 breweries signed up, and 76,000 people already logged on to find some great beer from their independent producers.
“I am not surprised though because this is what craft beer is all about; sharing resources to support each other through good times and bad.
“It is a unique industry, and this shows that it’s producing a product that people both love and want.”
Willetts said: “Simply Hops and our other friends of craft beer just wanted to do what we could to help the fantastic independent brewers across the UK and Europe get through this tough time.
“We felt that helping them change the shape of their businesses when the bulk sales of beer to pubs, restaurants and taprooms have suddenly stopped was a small thing to do.
“We want people to be aware that there are a lot of ways to get great beer to your house and try lots of different beers and support the large number of small business people that need it right now.
“This is a free of charge, not for profit service that allows all true lovers of great beer to find all the independent breweries, retailers or taprooms that can deliver to their door, therefore supporting the small brewers and giving the consumers a real opportunity to connect with breweries they may never have even heard of before.
“We are looking for some beer patriotism, and for consumers to make a small extra effort to save the beautiful diversity of beer that now exists.
“We want to make sure the product everyone in our industry has dedicated their whole lives to is still here for people during and after this unusual and difficult time.
“It’s what the craft beer scene is all about really.
“Working together to lift each other up when it’s needed.”
Kier McAllister Wilde, owner of Wilde Child Brewery in Leeds, said: ”This website is a lifeline for our brewery.
“It’s vitally important to keep our heads above water, but we really need a sustainable route to the local market to keep ticking over in these exceptional times.
“There will be major issues if the network of breweries and good beer goes away.
“Beer delivery drivers are just as important and essential as any other delivery drivers at this time.”
Andy Parker Director at Elusive Brewing Limited in Berkshire said: “It’s great to see key brewing industry suppliers support independent pubs, bars and breweries during these challenging times by helping to spread the word about our services.
“These direct sales are the only thing which will keep us afloat.
“We are currently dispensing via our taproom, so having one central place for locals to be able to find us, who haven’t discovered him before will be a big help to keep my wife and I going through the coming months.”
Scott Steffens, Head of Brewing at Dois Corvos Cervejeira in Portugal, said: “Our sales went off a cliff with all of our direct customers and distributors closing due to the coronavirus.
“It’s great that the craft breweries are coming together to get beer to people through this global crisis and to provide these simple pleasures.
“At least we can have that common sense of discovery and trying new things that craft beer always brings – even when we’re stuck at home.
“Craft beer is a simple luxury that makes life better – wherever you are.”
James Welsh, co-founder at Garage Barcelona, said: “It’s great to have additional support from our supplier partners, especially when it leads to sales as we’ve seen from the Beer is Here platform in Barcelona – right now given the current situation we’re happy for any extra help we can get.”
Sam Dickison, head brewer at Boxcar Brewery, said: “The Beer is Here directory is a really valuable resource for beer drinkers who care about supporting their local suppliers.
“We launched our web shop at a similar time to Beer Is Here, and I’m sure it’s helped customers become aware of us.”
James Calder, SIBA Chief Executive, said: “Independent beer businesses across Europe are under incredible pressure, with many struggling to keep afloat.
“The Beer is Here initiative is something SIBA are very happy to support and which we believe will have a hugely positive effect on all involved.
“If you run a beer business providing takeaway services, local delivery, or other low-contact sales options anywhere in Europe then we would strongly encourage you to get involved.”