Langham Brewery have found themselves adapting positively to the changes imposed by Covid 19.
Posted: 5th May 2020
Langham are an independent steam-powered microbrewery situated between the Sussex towns of Midhurst and Petworth in the beautiful South Downs National Park. Their passion is to produce innovative, distinctive and flavoursome real ales using the finest quality ingredients and traditional craft skills.
The brewery’s range of delicious award winning artisan ales - 7 regular beers and 10 exciting limited editions -have won over 46 awards in the last 10 years including overall champion of the SE of England SIBA regional competition and three additional CAMRA regional golds and several local CAMRA awards.
When the Covid-19 ‘stay at home’ announcements were made, the brewery had a cellarful of beer ready for the pub trade, 80% of their business. The Langham team felt it was “important to keep going, while keeping safe.” To do this, sadly two staff were furloughed, so the close team is now down to a core of three.
Lesley Foulkes, the brewery co-owner explains “We were inspired to continue to serve our community, and to keep some semblance of normality. At the end of March, the Government clarified its guidance on the closure of retailers, and after pressure from the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) and other industry bodies, it confirmed that ‘off-licenses and licensed shops selling alcohol, including those within breweries’ were exceptions to the closures. This gave us the green light we were hoping for and allowed us to develop our Home Delivery and Drive Through brewery services.”
James Berrow, Lesley’s business partner, explains further. “We are situated in a stunning part of the countryside, and our granary barn forecourt area has ample space and parking to ensure safe distancing procedures for a safe drive-by service, as well as for us to organise our home delivery orders. We have introduced a number of new policies and procedures for all drivers, contractors and visitors to the site – the safety of customers and staff continues to be paramount to us. Customers can either approach the brewery (keeping a safe distance) to make their beer order, or remain in their cars to be served. It's payment by card only, the card machine is being cleaned regularly, and after each non-contactless transaction. Visitors are no longer allowed inside the brewery, but can be served from the 2 metre safe distance.”
The brewery has been overwhelmed by the support for their new directives. Within an hour of adding details of the new services to the website and social media, orders were being made via the online order form.
In more usual times, the brewery host numerous events throughout the year, and is involved in a myriad of local Sussex, Surrey and Hampshire based events, many of which help to raise money for local charities. With the current cancellation of many of these events, the brewery is helping to raise money for local hospice Chestnut Tree House, by donating 50 pence from every pint sold of their smoked Baltic Porter 'Aegir': 7.5%. They also continue to support the South Downs National Park by donating 5 pence from every bottle of their classic South Downs Best sold, to help raise funds for their latest initiatives -Trees for the Downs and Beelines.
In the second week of April, the team introduced a new duo of vegan friendly natural hemp beers via their sister company Sativa Brewing Co. The team had been working on test brews for a year, using organically grown hemp, plus CBD, for a unique, modern drinking experience.
Lesley tells us more “Although this was not quite the beer launch we were expecting and hoping for, we're extremely proud and happy to share the new brews. Your Happy Hour just became your Happier Hour!”
The brewery is under no illusion how challenging and difficult things are for everyone in today’s climate, but in spite of the current situation, they are hugely grateful to be able to 'keep going' - the support they have received from the community continues to be heart-warming.
“One thing we are hugely missing during these uncertain times are the hostelries and publicans though” says Lesley. “We cannot wait for them to open again. They are, in many ways, the pulse of our society and are sorely missed”.
The brewery would like to thank all the fabulous customers who have supported, and continue to support, their new services. The brewery is open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5.30pm and on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m, for Drive Through and for orders over the phone. Home Delivery orders are also taken 24 hours a day via the website.
Langham Brewery was one of the first four breweries in England to gain a Cask Marque and SALSA plus Beer accreditation for its quality brewing processes and performance.
The brewery team would like to reassure all their retail and off-sales customers that they are taking all necessary precautions to ensure the safe and secure production and supply of their beer.