Brewery Highlight: Alnwick Brewery Co.

Like many other nonessential businesses, breweries around the world closed down earlier this year as COVID-19 restrictions limited nonessential travel and activities for everyone. For the Alnwick Brewery Company, they shut down in March when the U.K. steadily imposed more safety regulations throughout the month.

Based in Northumberland, the brewing company had just made around eighty casks of ale, stout and IPA in preparation for oncoming Easter. They usually see a surge in business during the holidays and had brewed enough to satiate a large oncoming crowd. However before they could sell any of it, the U.K.’s shelter-in-place orders came into effect. With few other options, they closed their brewery and shop to make contingency plans for the future.

Nevertheless they didn’t want to throw out their Easter stock or have it expire and go to waste anyway. Thus they came up with a new plan to prevent that from happening and simultaneously brought light to people in their community, even raising money for health organizations in the process.

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Who is Alnwick Brewery?

Before COVID-19, the company sold their beer in a market town perfect for their professional aspirations. Even now, their website sells all different IPA, stout and ale.

When they found themselves with an overabundance of beer, they decided that instead of letting it go to waste or capitalizing on it during a massive recession, they would give it away to the community. They sent out word that they would begin hosting socially distanced giveaways to rid themselves of an entire cache of beer brewed for the Easter rush. Every Friday, they gave away as much beer as any one person could carry.

Although the charitable endeavor began at the brewery itself, the wave of support caused them to move it to the market town instead. Queues of more than ten people would appear starting early in the morning, and since they planned to do these weekly giveaways until the casks were emptied, they let recipients take as much as they could carry. People brought their own containers and eagerly took advantage of the opportunity; some brought bottles and empty jugs whereas others took full liters of the brew.

Whenever the giveaways happened, Alnwick Brewery also set out a collection box to raise money for National Health Services. The NHS handles health concerns for the U.K. and are currently in need of help; they were hit hard by the pandemic and continue to lack funds, support and in particular PPE for their workers. By the beginning of May, Alnwick Brewery had already raised $600 for the NHS.

Despite the charity and the hard times that COVID-19 has put on everyone, Alnwick Brewery has remained in business throughout these past months and are currently selling beer at their online store. Their sister companies, Lindisfarne Limited and Alnwick Rum Company, also still offer delivery from their websites.

Why the NHS?

The National Health Service is a government-funded healthcare system that every U.K citizen can call on at no cost. It’s made up of several different organizations that come together to provide assistance, ongoing updates about the pandemic, statistics and guidelines for people to follow. This includes advice on when to resume normal activities, when to have virtual meetings instead, appropriate community responses and more.

As COVID-19 cases rise around the U.K., the sheer number of hospital admissions continually triggers a need for supplies and equipment that will properly protect everyone in the NHS as well as the people in their care who need treatment. NHS organizations are getting supplies delivered and making deals with the manufacturers, but they’re still relying on charitable donations like everything that Alnwick Brewery has raised. With more money, the NHs can set up wellness spaces, buy food, get mental and financial support for their staff, buy PPE and fund anything else that the hospitals need at the time.

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Charitable donations make a huge difference nowadays, from the kind offered to institutions like the NHS down to entire casks of free craft beer for local communities. as we continue to weather the COVID-19 pandemic together, everyone can benefit from a little goodwill coming their way.

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