Coronavirus Update

Blog 31 March 2020 Published by Tegan Philp

Dear friends of St Austell Family Group,


We hope you and your families are keeping safe. There’s no disputing what an uncertain and difficult time this is for everyone as the World around us continues to change daily.

We promised we’d keep in touch with you through the COVID-19 pandemic. Today we would like to send you – our valued customers – the latest news and updates from the St Austell Family Group – we hope it’s useful:

Update: 30th March


What’s brewing?

We are pleased that we are still brewing and remain committed to maintaining production of our key St Austell and Bath Ales brands through the pandemic. While there is no draught production for now, we are brewing plenty of Tribute, Korev, Proper Job and Gem, available in 500ml bottles, to keep you and your customers satisfied through the weeks ahead.

We can assure you the safety and wellbeing of our people and our customers is paramount during the COVID-19 pandemic and we are continuing to monitor and follow government and NHS advice to ensure all recommended health and hygiene precautionary measures are in place through the brewing process, as well as during the collection or distribution of all products.


How to place a trade order

We’re maintaining a trade ordering service on packaged beers, wine and spirits through our depot sides at the below locations:


To order:

  • To view the product range available through St Austell Family Groups, visit:
  • Contact telesales on 0345 2411122; please leave a voicemail and we will get back to you as soon as possible during the office hours of 9.00am to 4.30pm – Monday to Friday.
  • Email enquires / order requests can be sent to  – this email is being monitored 9.00am and 4.30pm – Monday – Friday.
  • Alternatively, if your call is urgent, please contact Kerrie, our telesales manager, on 07970 204116 during the hours of 9.00am to 4.30pm – Monday – Friday.
  • Please note that any orders placed will require payment over the phone. We’ll also ask you to specify a collection day and time. You’ll also be given a number to call when you arrive at the depot.


How to collect your order

Customers can collect paid-for orders on their requested day and time from the relevant depot between 9.00am – 2.00pm – Monday – Friday.


A guide to collecting your orders safely:

The welfare of our staff, their families and our customers is our number one priority right now. We’re asking all staff and customers to adhere to the following measures when visiting us to collect orders:

  • Please don’t attempt to collect an order if you, or any of your household, are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Please call the given number when you arrive in the car park outside the distribution centre. When on site please adhere to the Public Health England’s guidelines on social distancing and stay at least two metres away from any other person on site.
  • You will be asked to stay in your vehicle until your order is brought out to you.
  • The dispatch team will bring out your items and receipt and leave them next to your vehicle – we’ll be kindly asking you to load your own car.
  • Please be assured our dispatch teams will wash their hands thoroughly before and after every vehicle delivery / order collection.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation.


Returning stock to us

We are currently working with our suppliers to put a stock replacement programme together and we are seeking their support before committing to a plan of action.

This will take a little time, and clearly there are considerations over how best we can work with our customers, and make sure the detail is in place for a straight swap of stock, or a credit against any outstanding debt. Read more here.

Clearly, these are difficult times, but it is our intention to ensure we replace/credit any keg beer and lager stock that has gone out of date as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

We are working up plans, seeking the support of our suppliers, and we will update you as soon as we can.


Credit control

We fully recognise the challenges you face in these unprecedented times; the whole industry is suffering, and we are certainly not immune – but we do understand!

Our sales development managers are keen to find mutually beneficial solutions for all of our valued customers across the whole of the south west.

Therefore, if you haven’t already been, very shortly you will be contacted by your SDM to discuss the best solution, working to the principles of a fair, reasonable and manageable plan. To all of you that are up to date on your accounts, and have paid us in recent days, a massive thank you – it is hugely appreciated.

If you would like to talk directly to credit control, please call either Tracey, 07855 515638 or Nigel, 07967 679811 or e-mail  We are open Monday – Friday from 9.00am to 4.00pm.


Our people

As a company, we applaud the support package announced by the Chancellor on the 20th March. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (JRS) will help to secure employment for hundreds of thousands of people in the hospitality and brewing industry – who will continue to receive an income, while pubs, bars and restaurants remain closed.

To have the strongest opportunity to safeguard our business – and in order to protect the employment of our people – we’ve temporarily moved several our team members into a period of furlough. This is likely to last until normal trading resumes and we can all return to work safely.

Placing our people into furlough means that they will remain employed by St Austell Family Group but will not be working. Through a combination of Government support, and our own contributions, all our employees in furlough will continue to receive 80% of their normal pay, while they stay at home in support of the Government’s strategy to contain the spread of Coronavirus. This situation will be reviewed every four weeks.

As a result of this approach we are pleased to confirm that we haven’t had to make a single redundancy across the business, at this stage.


Is your business supporting local communities?

We’d love to tell our online fans about any new business initiatives you’ve launched.

In the coming days we’ll be launching a new page on the St Austell Brewery website showcasing all the efforts and tireless work that’s underway to help bring communities together – and promoting the updates across our social media channels too.

Drop Vicki in our digital team a note on with any news or updates you’d like us to help you promote, and we’ll do our best to help spread the word.

Update: 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.”

​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:


The usual telesales phone line – 0345 241 1122 – continues 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.

Returns policy: we will pick up unused kegs and casks of our own branded products if we have not yet received payment.

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.


Visit the government website and trade associations for guidance.


To close your system down for up to 4 weeks or more, follow the below advice:

Bar closure process:

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 wines, 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.

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