Covid-19 – update: Friday 20th March

Responding to today’s announcements by the government, Kevin Georgel, chief executive, St Austell Brewery Family Group, said:

“In the short term we have an immediate challenge of having to work through the logistics, from both an operational and team aspect, as we temporarily close our managed pubs and support our tenants in light of the government’s instructions, which we respect and will adhere to.

The support from the government today came as both a huge relief and an enormous reassurance to the industry and will enable us to secure hundreds of jobs within our business.

In the coming weeks we will need to work through today’s announcement and the fiscal support the Chancellor has committed to providing and understand how we will use this to underpin our efforts in supporting our teams, tenants, customers and the communities in which we operate.

We know for so many, pubs play a key role in bringing together local communities and are a vital a place of sanctuary and will play an important role as the country comes through this crisis.

In parallel with the government’s instructions, and regular reviews of possible re-opening dates, we’re committed to working towards welcoming guests back into our pubs when we know it’s safe to do so.

We’re not through this, and like the rest of the country we will continue to decide how best to navigate the many challenges ahead. We continue to wish you and your families all the best during this time and thank you for your continued support.”

Covid-19 Update

Updated: 19th March

It goes without saying that the government has put the hospitality industry in a very difficult position. Rest assured that we are playing a leading role in lobbying the government and we are seeking urgent clarification about what additional support we might be able to secure for our business customers and partners across the UK. We will continue to lobby hard over the coming days and weeks.

We have implemented increased health and hygiene precautionary measures and as a result brewing will continue at our St Austell and Bath Ales breweries until otherwise instructed.

We recognise these are unprecedented and uncertain times and have created this trade area with some resources we hope you will find useful:



Trading with St Austell Family Group
Latest industry news and advice
Sharing advice
Access to funding
Shutting a cellar



Trading with St Austell Family Group

With increased health and hygiene precautionary measures, brewing will continue at our St Austell and Bath Ales breweries until otherwise instructed. 

The usual telesales phone lines (Free Trade customers in the South West: 0345 241 1122 and National Sales customers: 0345 603 5434) continue to be staffed to support the pubs which are operating, and the team will be able to discuss any questions you have about delivery options.

As a business, we are monitoring this rapidly evolving situation around the clock and will review, on a case-by-case basis, ongoing government advice. We will continue to provide you with updates as new information is received.  



Latest industy news and advice

Visit the government website and trade associations for guidance. Some offer excellent advice covering many areas from hygiene to employment rights. Useful sites to visit are:



Sharing advice

We’re sharing some of the advice we are giving to our pub teams as we take action during these turbulent times.

Takeaway / delivering
Planning restrictions have been relaxed to allow pubs to operate as takeaway/delivery points for food. This will help to get food to people who are in lock down:

Regular communication

Use social media to stay in touch with your customers, engaging with them whilst they post will make sure you are font of mind for when the crisis is over. Ask them for their favourite dishes, which beers they would like you to stock, anything that’s positive and engages comment. Facebook is the best tool for this.

Stock management
Look to sell any stock you have that will go out of date. A collection service for draught beer to be taken away in any container may give you some much-needed cash. Look at the sell by dates on your bottled products, and any that are short dated, try to sell those through a home delivery service.



Access to funding

You will have seen the Government announcements and we expect there will be more to follow.
For advice on Business Rates and any other information relevant on a daily basis, the latest Government information can be accessed via the following link:




Shutting a cellar

Bar closure process:

To close your system down for up to 4 weeks or more:

1. Thoroughly clean and blow the dispense system* leaving lines clean and dry.
2. Leave remote coolers switched off, and turn off gas.
3. If you still have unbroached kegs in the cellar, we advise leaving the cellar cooling switched on to preserve the life of the stock. Cellars must be ventilated at all times. Also be mindful of pest control increase vigilance needed.
4. Remove nozzles, clean thoroughly under warm running water with a nozzle brush, and leave to air dry - do not leave them to soak in anything.
5. Ensure glasswasher is cleaned and drained - spray all internal surfaces with food-grade sanitizer.
• Remove filter and spray arms, and clean.
• Leave the door open to allow air circulation.
6. Do the same with bottle fridges after cleaning.
*For advice on how to blow lines, see below.

It is important that you clean your lines well - follow manufacturers’ instructions:

Cask ale lines:

1. Clean cask lines as normal.
2. Pull through until only air is coming from each line.
3. Hang cask lines off the floor.
4. Clean and sanitize hop filters and taps.
5. Remove all empty and opened casks from the cellar.
6. Wash down floors to remove beer spills.

Blowing lines:

1. Disconnect all keg couplers, clean and sanitise.
2. Clean the cleaning sockets.
3. Attach couplers to the cleaning ring main.
4. Clean the lines in normal way and rinse with water.
5. Leave fobs in cleaning mode.
6. Ensure the cleaning bottle is empty and line cleaning feed tube is inside the bottle.
7. At the bar open each tap until air is coming through every line.
8. Turn off cleaning gas and any assist pumps.
9. Turn off remote coolers at the plug.
10. Turn gas off at individual valves and main supply

General hygiene:

• Clear and clean post mix system.
• Take all spirits and fridge contents from the bar and store out of sight.
• Ensure all empties are corked/cleaned and ideally collected.




If closing your pub remember to clean down your glasswasher after its final use:
1. Unblock and clean spray nozzles.
2. Remove/clean filters and spray arms.
3. Clean washer interior panels.
4. Empty and drink residue and rubbish/debris.
5. Do not leave any glassware in the washer.
6. Leave cabinet door ajar after final clean for circulation.
7. Unplug or switch off machine from power source.