As the people of Nottinghamshire queue for their jabs, pubs in the city centre and breweries across the county have also received a shot in the arm with the return of the Nottingham Ale Trail.
The month-long campaign has been promoting cask ales at a variety of local pubs with collectible badges and special attractions for pet-lovers since last Friday, September 3.
When it debuted in 2019, the Ale Trail earned an extra £13,000 for local pubs. It is expected to be even more lucrative this year due to the demand that has been built up throughout the lockdown.
British pubs lost an estimated £8.2 billion in sales because of the pandemic which rendered the hospitality sector immobile in March 2020. Now the Ale Trail is enticing the people of Nottingham to revisit their favourite pubs again.
Brandin Marshall, Assistant Manager at The Angel Microbrewery in Hockley said, “It brings a lot of our old regulars in. Everybody has been drinking so much ale that we have been running out of glasses left, right, and centre. It is nice to see as we are handing out the stickers and the maps and the different promotional opportunities. It is always great fun”.
The staff in Nottingham’s pubs have also credited the campaign with attracting many fresh visitors who often become regular customers after discovering a pub along the Ale Trail.
Praising the effectiveness of the initiative, the general manager of Cock & Hoop on High Pavement, Steve Cook said, “It brings in people who might not have visited us before. We have seen a lot of new customers and hopefully, they will be back”.
The need for this campaign, particularly for the promotion of ale sales in certain establishments was pointed out by Hockley’s Six Barrel Drafthouse manager, Ezra Watson. He said, “Ale was the last one to pick back up. It was the last drink to come back out, stop isolating, and come into town. So, the Trail has really helped ale drinkers have a reason to come out and try a new drink.”
Celebrating the launch of the new Canine Trail this year, Watson says, “It has become an attraction in itself”, as he looks at his two playful puppies whom he has aptly named Gin and Tonic.
This complementary campaign, running in collaboration with the Ale Trail, encourages dog owners and pet-lovers to go out and have a pint at a selection of 34 dog friendly venues in the city.
The Ale Trail propelled alcohol sales in 2019 alluring around 150 people to down 42 pints each as they completed all six trails on the campaign.
With nearly 50 pubs and 40 breweries across Nottinghamshire participating in the campaign this time, the Ale Trail has pooled a substantial number of customers to the benefit of the entire local pub industry.
The campaign will run till Sunday, October 3.