Southsea pub sells more than 800 pints with takeaway service to stop beer being 'poured down the drain'

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A SOUTHSEA pub is keeping beer from being thrown away in lockdown – by selling more than 800 pints in the first week of its takeaway service.

The Hole in the Wall, in Great Southsea Street, started selling beer for takeout on April 20 in an effort to ‘stop beer being poured down the drain,’ according to landlord Jon McKeeracher.

He said: ‘You see videos all over social media of publicans pouring beer down the drain – it’s heart breaking.

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‘One of the reasons we did it is we could see how many small local breweries would go to the wall unless they started getting little orders from pubs.

Hole In The Wall pub in Great Southsea Street, Southsea. Picture: GoogleHole In The Wall pub in Great Southsea Street, Southsea. Picture: Google
Hole In The Wall pub in Great Southsea Street, Southsea. Picture: Google

‘We have saved some beer going down the drain from Eight Arch Brewery in Dorest and also Thornbridge Brewery which is in Derbyshire.’

The lockdown has seen a 30 per cent reduction in sales, according to the landlord, who has had to place all 12 members of his staff on furlough, with staff volunteering to take either 80 per cent pay or remain on their full salary.

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While the government’s stopping of business rates was a ‘huge help,’ Jon said the government had given ‘mixed messages’ on reopening pubs across the country.

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He said: ‘We heard people like Michael Gove saying that pubs would not open until the winter – we are getting mixed messages about when they will allow pubs to open.’

‘We’re looking at a whole summer of lost business.’

But the landlord has some sympathy for the government.

He added: ‘Whatever they did it was going to be wrong from some person’s point of view. They have done the best that they can.’

The pub is currently offering five cask and four keg beers to be picked up from the premises, with the landlord enforcing social distancing in the queue.

He added: ‘If it’s within walking distance, I will deliver.

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‘For some elderly people, we could be the only person they see all day.’

The Hole in the Wall was Portsmouth and South East Hampshire CAMRA’s Pub of the Year in 2016, marking its seventh win of the title.

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