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Local pubs given help by city brewery

Alain and Alison Davis at Carlisle Brewing’s Kingstown headquarters

As pubs across Cumbria finally re-open, a local brewery has revealed it is sending lockdown cash donations to more than 50 landlords.

The family-run Carlisle Brewing Co – the only brewery in the city – has been operating a ‘bag in box’ scheme while pubs have been closed, delivering orders of its real ales to people’s homes.

Alain and Alison Davis, who run the brewery, also wanted to support local hostelries, so for every order received, they donated an amount to the customer’s nominated Cumbrian pub.

The scheme is still running, with 53 pubs in the county having so far received donations. Money has also been given to Carlisle Foodbank.

Alison said: “Pubs are usually the focus of communities, and we knew landlords were concerned about their customers and staff.

“We wanted to see if there was any way we could help, even if it was just a small amount.”

The couple know exactly how difficult lockdown has been for the industry, as they also run The Spinners Arms in Cummersdale. It is due to re-open its doors to customers on Friday (July 10).

“We’ve been supported brilliantly throughout the past three months by customers ordering directly to their homes,” added Alison. “We’ve definitely found that people have been more happy to buy from local businesses, and I think the lockdown has really emphasised the importance of this for people.

“We’ve started re-supplying pubs in Cumbria and the Borders with real ale now, and it’s been great to see how they’ve been coping.

“It’s a bit of a strange time but we’re hoping everyone will make it through.”

Carlisle Brewing Co was set up in 2013, using a small area behind the Spinners Arms, but has now grown to dedicated premises on Kingstown Industrial Estate.

Its beers are found in pubs across Cumbria and the Borders. The award-winning range includes Spun Gold – Solway CAMRA’s Beer of the Year – and new offering Sufficient Darkness, which has flavours of treacle toffee, liquorice and soft fruits.

Alison and Alain also organise the annual Spinners Arms Bike Ride for Cancer Research UK.

This year’s group event was due to take place this Saturday, but instead people are being asked to ride the 25 miles in their own time, over the course of this week, sending in evidence from fitness apps that the distance has been cycled.

“The bike ride has been really important to us and our cyclists have raised more than £75,000 in the past 12 years,” revealed Alison.

“We aim to support as many local charities as we can, too, and have raised money for Eden Valley Hospice and the local COPD ward at the Cumberland Infirmary, among many others.”

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