The coronavirus lockdown has been tough on hospitality businesses, especially pubs, so the North Bedfordshire Branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) wanted to celebrate the publicans who had risen to the challenge.
On behalf of all three of the Bedfordshire branches, CAMRA has presented a Lockdown Hero – or should that be Beer-o? – award to two Bedford Borough businesses who went the extra mile to keep their customers happy.
Pete and Conny at the Sun at Felmersham opened a pop-up shop in the bar of the pub to provide villagers with the essentials.
Later in lockdown they added a delivery service for meals cooked in the pub kitchen as an added service to the village.
“Lockdown came as a shock to everyone but our villages pulled together to do some really positive things in that time,” said The Sun’s Pete Pestell.
“Our highlights at the pub were starting the shop, delivering door to door, cooking 600 meals for the NHS workers which were all paid for by our awesome customers and putting on a virtual VE concert raising a £1000 for Emmaus.
“We are delighted to receive the award from CAMRA, the village pub is a special place to be when you have villages like ours.”
Beerfly in St Cuthbert’s Street was also recognised by North Beds CAMRA.
Beerfly’s Tim Edwards started a delivery service in the local area, giving customers the chance to order flagons of draft beer or a selection of cans. The choices changed from week to week so there were always new beers to try.
“I think it’s great of CAMRA to highlight those who they feel have helped during what has clearly been a very difficult year for everyone and it’s nice that the felt we had helped their members particularly during the most arduous period of lockdown,” said Tim.
“Overall we’ve managed to sustain a good level of business, all things considered, and are hopeful that we can all look forward to Christmas.
“We have our usual array of beery gifts and packs available at the shop or for local delivery, a service we’ve continued since lockdown.”