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Ipswich pub selling 500 takeaway pints a weekend during coronavirus lockdown

PUBLISHED: 18:32 11 May 2020 | UPDATED: 18:32 11 May 2020

The Greyhound, Ipswich. People have turned up with jerry cans to be filled with takeaway beer at the Henley Road pub during lockdown.  Picture: DAVID VINCENT

The Greyhound, Ipswich. People have turned up with jerry cans to be filled with takeaway beer at the Henley Road pub during lockdown. Picture: DAVID VINCENT

Archant

A popular Ipswich pub is selling 500 pints a weekend in takeaway containers ranging from jam jars to jerry cans during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Dan Lightfoot, landlord of The Greyhound in Henley Road, said that the pub has sold so much takeaway beer that it has had to restock its cellar four times since lockdown started – and will be restocking it again soon.

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He said: “At first we just totally shut down for three weeks. But then we realised we had some beer that would’ve had to be poured down the drain because it was going out of date in the next three or four weeks, so we started selling that to take away.

“Within three days we had sold out of all the cask beer that we had in the cellar. I asked if we could get some more and drove up to Southwold to pick up another six barrels – thinking it would last us two weeks.

“We sold out of it the next weekend.

“I keep doubling the order, but every time I think we’ll have enough for two weeks we’ll run out.”

The pub is now going through up seven barrels of ale, as well as lager, every week and has now branched out into takeaway chilli nacho kits.

“It gives me a sense of routine a way. We only sell it Thursday, Friday and Saturday two ‘til five. I have Sunday off. Put the order in on Monday. Collect the beer on Tuesday. Then away we go again.”

Mr Lightfoot, who is normally the pub’s chef, says that at first it was his regulars coming in to buy beer, but now he is seeing some new faces.

He is also pulling pints into some new containers, saying: “We’ve had jam jars, plastic cereal containers, food processor jugs – we’ve had all sorts.

“Somebody turned up with an 18-pint jerry can to fill with Adnams Ghost Ship – that’s our biggest container so far.”

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The pub is keeping to social distancing rules by serving customers beer out of the back door and using empty kegs to keep customers queuing in the car park two metres apart.

While all the pub’s staff are furloughed, Mr Lightfoot says the pub is having to survive on the income generated by the takeaway sales, as it is not eligible for help from government schemes and he is still waiting for his government backed loan to come through.

He said: “We’re just trying to think of ways to survive as we can’t get any help at all.”

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