Our beloved local, The Drapers Arms, reopened last week as a takeaway. We’ve had a couple of takeouts so far and it feels like a significant, wonderful step towards normality.
Of course, if you’d asked us in January how we’d feel about getting four pints of beer in a placcy milk bottle to drink in our front room, we’d have said, meh, we love pubs, we don’t really drink at home much – why on earth would we ever want to do this?
We wrote a month ago about our new lockdown routines and where we were buying packaged beer.
This has helped recreate a reasonably authentic cask ale experience. Surprisingly good, in fact – we’re fully won over to mini-kegs in principle.
But the reopening of The Drapers is definitely next level, game-changing stuff. Not necessarily because every single beer is utterly brilliant, but because:
- We suddenly have access to a range of cask beers, not just one at a time.
- We don’t have to decide a week in advance what we want to drink, and we (probably) don’t need to worry about running out between deliveries.
- The range that’s been on offer so far includes things we would not have been able to get hold of easily. It also includes new-to-us beers that we wouldn’t have wanted to risk buying in bulk, on spec.
The last point was particularly important for us.
Part of the joy of a good pub is being able to dabble in things you might not necessarily fall in love with. You might discover a new gem or, alternatively, it’ll make you enjoy the stuff you really do like a whole lot more.
Being presented with limited options in a range chosen by someone else, can be oddly liberating. The agony of choice and all that.
Hopefully other beer drinkers feel the same and haven’t decided to just drink the world’s best beers at home forever.
The takeaway cask model could offer a lifeline to pubs that will be too small to reopen safely in the next few months.