Brewers go online to welcome customers back next week

As the pubs reopen, so the new brewery Taproom off the Purley Way is preparing to welcome back punters keen to get out of the house for a pint.

Cheers: customers wanting a beer at the Taproom will need to book and enjoy table service

And the lengths that brewers Anspach and Hobday have had to go to in order to make their premises safe to trade show that in the “new normal”, there will be no such thing as “going out for a swift pint”.

After spending the past three months brewing up beers and lagers for sale for home consumption, Anspach and Hobday will from tomorrow be welcoming customers back to their bar, The Pigeon, in Camberwell.

The Taproom – which had only just been open for business in March before lockdown was imposed – will reopen on July 11.

But under very strict social distancing rules.

Anspach and Hobday announced their reopening plans today, saying, “We are adhering to government guidelines while operating, ensuring that patrons are seated at two metres where possible, with tables distanced.

“We’re delighted to introduce table service at these venues. Each venue will have its own rules and these will be appropriately communicated to guests upon arrival.”

The Taproom is near Therapia Lane, and right next to where the beers are brewed

Customers can no longer just turn up on a whim.

Bookings need to be made, tables need to be reserved (which you can do for the Taproom by clicking here).

The brewers are using online service OpenTable to manage their bookings, and also to keep within data protection rules.

“We’re proud to be partnering with OpenTable as our industry begins to face new challenges as we begin to return to normality,” they said.

“OpenTable is running trials for bars within London, and we’re incredibly proud to be their only brewery and craft beer case study. Through the use of OpenTable, we aim to ensure we are adhering to best practice as seamlessly as possible.”

And while certain members of the government have ignored or bypassed their own social distancing guidelines, businesses such as Anspach and Hobday may not be allowed such latitude and they say they intend to abide by them for the safety and well-being of their staff and customers.

Under government rules, tables may only seat people from the same household. “To ensure we act as safely as possible, we’ll require the name of everyone in a party. Once a spot is confirmed, patrons will be prompted to ‘add people’ to their booking, so we can accurately record the name of every customer,” say Anspach and Hobday.

“We will accept drop-ins on a case-by-case basis, although booking ahead of time is strongly advised to avoid disappointment. Drop-ins will be required to provide their information through OpenTable, too, so we can accurately record their details and hold them in a secure fashion to adhere to GDPR guidelines.”

Due to the size of the venues, The Croydon Taproom will have no more than 30 customers at any time.

“We’re overwhelmed by the support we have had during the crisis – thank you,” said brewer co-founder Jack Hobday.

“We are equally thrilled to be reopening to provide our customers with fresh drink-in draught beer again! It is going to be a little different but with the measures we have in place, our fantastic staff, table service, our great selection of beers and wines, we believe we really can offer a special experience and one that we know has been sorely missed by all during lockdown.

“We’re following every bit of advice we can, and I hope this can be a turning point for our industry.”

The Croydon Taproom is at Unit 11, Valley Point Industrial Estate, Beddington Farm Road  CR0 4WP (nearest tram stop is Therapia Lane). The Anspach and Hobday website continues to take orders to off-sales, with free delivery for orders over £40.

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
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