Kentish Town’s Brewery Bar opens pop-up beer garden
- Credit: Annabel Staff
Part of the mighty Camden Town Brewery empire, the bar is adapting to post lockdown restrictions by going al fresco says MD Adam Keary
As pubs and bars reopened this weekend, many were forced to think of new ways to operate safely.
Outdoor tables have been added at the Brewery Bar in Kentish Town - part of the Camden Town Brewery empire, which had its humble beginnings in the basement of Hampstead’s Horseshoe pub.
Although products such as Camden Hells are widely stocked in supermarkets, Managing Director Adam Keary confessed that lockdown had been: “Fundamentally pretty difficult.”
“We are at our basis a brewery that’s built in the on-trade (selling drinks for consumption on a premises). So when lockdown happened about 85 percent of our beer sales stopped overnight.”
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Lockdown also paused a planned expansion of the bar in Wilkin Street Mews.
“We had closed in late January and were due to invest a lot of money, but because of lockdown we decided it wasn’t entirely safe to continue doing the work,” said Keary.
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“Now because of restrictions we’ve put it on pause to wait and see what the new landscape of on-trade looks like.”
The bar has switched to online bookings only for two hour slots in its new pop-up beer garden, where tables are two metres apart.
But with exclusive brews and special deals on food and drink, they are hoping to please their punters.
“As a temporary measure we’ve decided to go al fresco with outdoor table seating,” said Keary.
“A bit like a Bavarian beer garden. From what we’ve seen outdoor spaces are a lot safer.”
On the upside demand for Camden Town Brewery bottles in supermarkets has increased.
“Some people who liked drinking in pubs are now drinking at home. Our sales are double what they were pre lockdown.”
As pubs reopen, the brewery is now unfurloughing staff, and Keary believes life will return to what it was before lockdown - but it will take a while.
“A lot of people are scared to go out because of the risks. There are also people who have got used to not going out. Someone like myself who used to go out four times a week, but I’ve hardly been out at all in the last ten weeks. That will mean the industry will be a bit smaller.”
“With the restrictions in place and the huge financial cost of coronavirus, there will be some pubs and venues that won’t make it. They’ll be in too much debt to survive.” camdentownbrewery.com