The Bermondsey Beer Mile took its first cautious step out of lockdown this week, with several bars reopening outdoor areas.
This informal collection of micro breweries along the railway arches around Druid Street and Enid Street, often selling unusual drinks to punters has become extremely popular and in the past has drawn huge crowds. to the area.
However, the Beer Mile, many of whose bars are very close to housing estates like the Neckinger, has seen complaints over drinkers being loud and rude and sometimes even vomiting in the street.
Beer Mile bars have now clubbed together to hire a “steward” to keep drinkers in line. Brewery owners have had a meeting with Southwark Council ahead of the latest reopening and will meet again in two weeks to discuss any areas of concern.
We spoke to some of the Beer Mile breweries reopening this week.
Hiver Beers, whose main selling point is that its beer is made with honey, is “very excited” to reopen on Saturday April 19, said Matt Troy, sales and logistics coordinator at the brewery on Stanworth Street.
“We’re nearly fully booked. The council has been really helpful in giving us a bit more outdoor space as well. We can’t wait to see some happy faces again.”
Before the Covid-19 pandemic, bars along the Bermondsey Beer Mile tended to be more informal, with drinkers often milling around outside. Now, under the rules for coming out of lockdown, everyone has to be seated.
“It’s a bit of an adjustment and it could change the atmosphere a little bit,” Troy added. “But we didn’t have any issues when we opened last summer and this shouldn’t be any different.”
Jensen’s Gin, next door to Hiver Beer on Stanworth Street, has kept its gin distillery running during the lockdown, but is now reopening its outdoor space to drinkers.
Rob Millar, a manager at the distillery, said they were looking forward to welcoming people back in. People are free to walk up and order the gin, which is distilled on site, Millar said, although they don’t serve “fancy cocktails”.
“We’re looking forward to having people back around the area, to have it more lively again,” Millar added. It’s up to all of us to keep it safe so we don’t have to lock down again, but I’m sure it will be fine.”
Bianca Road Brewing Company
Staff at Enid Street’s Bianca Road Brewing Company are “excited and a little bit uncertain” about reopening this week, owner Reece Wood has said.
“Are people going to come back, or is it going to be a bit quieter?” he added. “We’ll have to wait and see. We’re raring to get back going as soon as we can.”
The Bianca Road Brewing Company, which brews its beer onsite as the name suggests, has kept up deliveries during lockdown. With bars able to reopen outdoors, it has room for about 30 people.
“Whether people come or not – a lot of it will be weather related,” Wood said. “But we’ve had quite a few enquiries about people making reservations.”
“If it gets much colder we might have to get the patio heaters out! It’s a shame because a couple of weeks ago we had lovely weather. Hopefully this is just the start though.”
Asked about concerns from local residents, Wood added: “We would never want local people to feel alienated or annoyed by what’s going on. They are very important and we need to have the local community on board.”
Southwark Brewing Company
The founder of the Southwark Brewing Company has urged people to come back to the Bermondsey Beer Mile.
Peter Jackson, managing director of the brewery on Druid Street, said he and his staff had worked hard to make sure that all surfaces are cleaned regularly and customers stay properly distanced.
“We’ve been working on this a long time and we’re confident that everything is safe,” he said. “I understand that some people might be nervous about coming out again, but we really think it will be worth it.”
The Southwark Brewing Company reopened on April 12. Book a table by emailing: email@example.com