“Health and peace of mind” Kathleen Haughey, Belfast (last century)
As a start-up company we have been bowled over by the support of people who have enjoyed drinking our beers at our tasting room. Our trade customers, those who have taken a chance by trying something from a fledgling brewery with very little reputation; customers who have bought crowlers from our online shop, and of course from our families and friends of Carnival.
We have had some very difficult times over the last three months coping with the impact of COVID-19 on our Carnival team and we briefly want to express how much it means to us that as a team we are having meetings about emerging from this crisis more resilient than we were in March.
The one major reflection is that family and friends are the most important aspect of our lives. Our brewery is a focal point that brings together a wonderful team of people whom are supporting the brewery now and in the future.
Our mission from the very beginnings in a garage in Mossley Hill has always been to produce banging beers and we are concentrating on the next version of Carnival as we plan to re-emerge from a temporary mothballing.
What does this mean in the short term?
We have decided that for the time being, our tasting room will remain closed to the public. Like our contemporaries in Liverpool and elsewhere, we have toyed with the idea of opening when the Government announced a further easing on lockdown measures. The temptation of bringing life back into our building has been great. Our little enterprise thrives on contact with our customers, instant feedback, jovial conversation, music, games, food and of course great beer. However, when working through our risk assessments and consulting with team members, we didn't think it was the right time to open our doors.
During these precarious times we have to focus on making beer and honing our skills and processes. We will be constantly monitoring the situation, talking to friends about their experiences of opening, watching evolving government guidance, the situation around the UK such as Leicester and locally, crossing our fingers that infection rates don't increase.
Moving things forward
We are bringing the brewery out of mothball status in two weeks, and our brew schedule is looking really exciting. We've booked our first canning run in early August, primed some bourbon barrels for filling with a new ale. We are implementing improvements to our processes which will give us resilience over the coming years, including a relaunch of our hastily put together webshop.
Ok, we don't quite know how social distancing measures will pan out in the future, but we aim to open our tasting room doors within a four week window once we are happy it's safe to do so, while preserving the vibe and atmosphere of our bar.
Off with the lockdown excess and forward to the locked-in focus on the future.