News | 19 March 2020

Covid-19 update

Please see below our latest company updates. We continue to wish you and your families all the best during this time, and thank you for your continued support.

Dear friends of Bath Ales,

We hope you and your families are keeping safe. There’s no disputing what an uncertain and difficult time this is for everyone as the World around us continues to change daily.

We promised we’d keep in touch with you through the COVID-19 pandemic. Today we would like to send you - our valued customers - the latest news and updates from Bath Ales - we hope it’s useful.

What's brewing?

We are still brewing and remain committed to maintaining production of our key St Austell and Bath Ales brands through the pandemic. While there is no draught production for now, we are brewing plenty of Gem, available in 500ml bottles, to keep you and your customers satisfied through the weeks ahead.

How to place a trade order:

We’re maintaining a trade ordering service for packaged beers, ciders, wines, spirits and soft drinks. Please place your order by calling 0345 2411122 and then collect your purchase – safely - from one of our five depots across the south west.

For more information about how to order, please click here.

Returning stock to us:

We are currently working with our suppliers to put a stock replacement programme together and we are seeking their support before committing to a plan of action.

This will take a little time, and clearly there are considerations over how best we can work with our customers, and make sure the detail is in place for a straight swap of stock, or a credit against any outstanding debt.

Read more about returning stock to us here.

Credit control:

We fully recognise the challenges you face in these unprecedented times; the whole industry is suffering, and we are certainly not immune - but we do understand!

Please speak to your sales development manager as we are keen to help find mutually beneficial solutions for all of our valued customers across the whole of the south west.

Read more here about working together to get through the crisis.

Our people:

The lockdown of the pub and hospitality sector has put hundreds of thousands of jobs at risk and we applaud the support package announced by the Chancellor on the 20th March. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (JRS) will help to secure employment for many people - who will continue to receive an income, while pubs, bars and restaurants remain closed.

On Thursday 26th March 75% of people across the St Austell Family Group were placed on furlough as part of the scheme. While we will miss these colleagues, we are pleased the St Austell Family Group hasn’t had to make a single redundancy across the business, at this stage.

Is your business supporting local communities?

We’d love to tell our online fans about any new business initiatives you’ve launched.

In the coming days we’ll be launching a new page on the St Austell Brewery website showcasing all the efforts and tireless work that’s underway to help bring communities together – and promoting the updates across our social media channels too.

Drop Vicki in our digital team a note on with any news or updates you’d like us to help you promote, and we’ll do our best to help spread the word.

Our pubs, inns and hotel customers

Following the instruction from the government, we closed all of our managed pubs on Friday 20th March. During the weekend – following the closures – perishable food was donated to local food banks where possible and safe to do so.

We are in liaison with the local authorities about offering up one of our hotels where we have accommodation which might be able to help support NHS and key workers.

We continue to work closely with our tenants following the government’s instruction about closures and have deferred upcoming rent payments for tenants for at least four weeks, at which point a further review will take place.

Since the government’s national pub closure announcement on Friday evening, our tenants have been working tirelessly for their communities on a number of initiatives. Ideas launched have included new takeaway facilities, streaming live music on social media and online quiz nights for locals.

Our brewery – and beer brands

Following yesterday’s address from the Prime Minister – and in line with the government’s guidelines regarding premises which can remain operating – brewing is continuing at our St Austell and Bath Ales breweries. We continue to closely monitor and adhere to the government’s instructions to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our people and our customers, by ensuring that increased health and hygiene precautionary measures are in place.

Along with many other brewers, we are still producing our award-winning beers. We are focused on ensuring that we can continue to supply the supermarkets with our leading brands, so that people across the country can still enjoy a quality beer, whilst they are social distancing at home. As a team, we will work tirelessly to keep our beers in the supply chain during this time of national crisis.

We are still operating our online shop where you can buy your favourite Bath Ales beers for delivery to your home anywhere in mainland Britain. Visit for more information.

Our people

Protecting the safety of our staff and customers continues to be the company’s “overriding priority” and a number of precautionary measures have been introduced to mitigate risk for essential workers, including clear guidelines on social distancing and upholding strict hygiene measures.

We are adhering to all Government advice and recommendations and will always put the health and well-being of our people – including our brewing team – at the forefront of our thinking. Beer is currently classified as a food product and the government guidance is that we should continue brewing unless we are told otherwise.

We welcome, and applaud the support announced by the government on Friday. It will help to ensure that hundreds of thousands of people within the hospitality and brewing industry can be retained by their employers, and will continue to receive an income while pubs, bars and restaurants remain closed. These are very uncertain times and – like employers across the country – we’re continuing to navigate the challenges ahead of us and work through the logistics – from both an operational and a team aspect.

Our commitment to our trade customers and the industry

If you’re a customer of Bath Ales, please read more on our dedicated trade communications area here.

Responding to today’s announcements by the government, Kevin Georgel, chief executive, St Austell Brewery Family Group, said:

“In the short term we have an immediate challenge of having to work through the logistics, from both an operational and team aspect, as we temporarily close our managed pubs and support our tenants in light of the government’s instructions, which we respect and will adhere to.

The support from the government today came as both a huge relief and an enormous reassurance to the industry and will enable us to secure hundreds of jobs within our business.

In the coming weeks we will need to work through today’s announcement and the fiscal support the Chancellor has committed to providing and understand how we will use this to underpin our efforts in supporting our teams, tenants, customers and the communities in which we operate.

We know for so many, pubs play a key role in bringing together local communities and are a vital place of sanctuary and will play an important role as the country comes through this crisis.

In parallel with the government’s instructions, and regular reviews of possible re-opening dates, we’re committed to working towards welcoming guests back into our pubs when we know it’s safe to do so.

We’re not through this, and like the rest of the country we will continue to decide how best to navigate the many challenges ahead. We continue to wish you and your families all the best during this time and thank you for your continued support.”

Dear friends of Bath Ales,

Like us, we are sure you are closely monitoring the daily changing government guidelines.

As we face the enormous challenge of responding to the Coronavirus situation, the safety of our customers and team members is our overriding priority.

We have already undertaken a number of measures across the business – and will continue to monitor and adapt to the situation.

Our pubs, inns and hotel customers

At the moment, we’re keeping the majority of our managed pubs, inns and hotels open in order to keep teams employed and to provide a service to their respective local communities. We will keep this situation under review on a pub by pub basis. We’ve put a series of extensive health and hygiene measures in place in line with government recommendations.

These include moving furniture to ensure adequate social distancing between guests, additional cleaning procedures, team briefings, removing cutlery and condiments from tables and requesting contactless card payments where possible. Our top priority is to keep you as safe as possible.

Our brewery – and beer brands

With increased health and hygiene precautionary measures, brewing will continue at our St Austell and Bath Ales breweries until otherwise instructed. We are increasing our focus on the production of packaged beers as we try and support the demands being placed on our key supermarket customers and are endeavouring to maintain supply of our most popular brands.

We have taken the decision to close our brewery shop and suspend all brewery tours. We are still operating our online shop where you can buy your favourite Bath Ales beers for delivery to your home anywhere in mainland Britain. Visit for more information.

Our commitment to our trade customers and the industry

The government has put the hospitality industry in an incredibly difficult position. We are taking a leading role in lobbying the government and seeking urgent clarification about what additional support we might be able to secure for publicans, and pub companies across the UK. There are a number of options under consideration but the single biggest priority for government at this stage is to urgently protect the employment of thousands of people working in pubs across the UK.

If you’re a customer of Bath Ales, please read more on our dedicated trade communications area: [link to page]

Our people

These are extraordinary times for everyone, and we are doing our utmost to help keep our teams safe by issuing regular guidance as per the NHS guidelines regarding health and wellbeing.

We are monitoring this rapidly evolving situation around the clock and will continue to review ongoing government advice.

We are thinking about you and your families during this worrying time,

Best wishes

Kevin Georgel

Chief Executive, St Austell Brewery Family Group

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