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Published June 8th 2020
Micro-brewery and pub re-emerges as off-licence
A combined micro-brewery and pub in the Staffordshire town of Tamworth has reinvented itself as an off-licence in order to continue selling craft ales during the coronavirus lockdown. Unlike various other countries around the world, such as Australia, the UK's pubs, bars and restaurants remain closed to the public. So, The Tamworth Brewing Company and adjacent Tamworth Tap micro-pub hit on the novel idea of transforming themselves into an off licence, which they have called The Pour House. And early indications are that the off licence approach has been a roaring success with most of the ales it has to offer quickly selling out to its thirsty customers. Tamworth Brewing Company started creating its own ales in 2017 from its small but modern three-barrel microbrewery. It initially only supplied its CAMRA award-winning ales to local pubs, but then opened The Tamworth Tap in December 2017.
The premises, in Market Street, Tamworth, are steeped in history, having originally been built in the 16th century, It has previously served as a shop, and most recently was the town's tourist information office before its closure - eventually being taken over and converted into a micro-brewery. The building lies under the shadow of medieval Tamworth Castle and still has a Saxon wall in the rear garden nearest to the Norman castle. No surprise then that one of the Tamworth Brewing Company's creations is called Saxon Wall. The Pour House is only open for limited times, and has adopted strict social distancing measures in line with national guidelines. The off-licence is open on Thursdays from 1pm to 3pm, Fridays from 2pm to 6pm, and on Saturdays between 12 noon and 4pm.
Inside The Tamworth Tap pub prior to Covid19 closure
It has gradually been able to increase the range of craft ales it can offer to nine as the off-licence has grown in popularity, with many of them quickly selling out. The most recent offering including Tamworth Brewing Company's own Assems Ale and Saxon Wall, Sarah Hughes Dark Ruby Mild, and Three Hills Brewing's Treacle Tart Stout. As part of the social distancing measures, no more than two people are permitted inside the shop area at any one time, barriers will be in place outside the front door to enable a queuing system with two-metre markers, and hand sanitiser is stationed at the entrance for customers to use both before they enter and again when they leave the premises. Contactless payment is also requested.
According to The Pour House's social media platforms, the business has just reached 3,000 likes just two years after Tamworth Brewing Co was established. A spokesman said: "Our beloved 'Tappers' have stayed with us throughout the current crisis and supported us as we've adapted and changed. We've gained so many new customers too. It shows that bringing forward our vision of opening a specialist off-license was definitely the right thing to do. The Pour House will continue to grow, as will The Tap and Brewery. Many thanks and much love to you all."