Further to our explanation below about Puddingstone Distillery gin tours, we had planned to resume evenings for those who had their tours postponed during lockdown on 1 October with events running through to Christmas. However, due to the new gov guidelines announced on 22.09.20 and the fact sneeze screens are no longer deemed appropriate barriers without face coverings we have decided to postpone yet again. We just feel the experience wouldn’t be of the standard that we’d like to deliver if Ben was to present wearing a face covering. Therefore until the gov guidelines change sadly tours are still postponed.
This is as disappointing to us as it is to all of you who have waited so patiently to redeem your tour vouchers and enjoy a night out at the Home of Campfire Gin. Not being able to run the tours and events means a significant loss of income for the business but equally we are frustrated at not being able to welcome guests to the distillery and share our story of the distillery and the creation of Campfire Gin.
COVID-19 – a cocktail of problems
In March of this year we like many other distilleries lost two important revenue streams. The closure of all pubs, bars, restaurants and other licensed premises saw our on trade customer base disappear overnight. Then came the announcements regarding social distancing, a ban on events, gatherings and many other experiential activities. This meant we had to stop gin distillery tours and close our on site distillery shop.
As the months have passed we have offered all those who have gin tour vouchers or had dates booked options to either swap out the value of your tour for gin or join us on our hugely successful online tasting events. For those of you who did, thank you. For those of you who have patiently waited, thank you also.
We have constantly been tracking government guidelines and indeed looking for clarification on which guidelines we should adhere to. Is a tour an event or are we classed as an attraction? Does the fact that we offer drink means face masks do not have to be worn?
Technicalities aside we also have to consider people on an individual level. Our tour nights are usually attended by 20 people. We think we can work to 10 maximum. We have to make sure that each attendee is comfortable with how we run the evening. In addition, we have to be comfortable, after all we have a responsibility to ensure the health and wellbeing of our Campfire crew and ourselves as owners of the business.
So here’s the plan, laid out for the benefit of our customers, ourselves and ultimately the community at large.
How do I book a tour?
Over the coming weeks we are going to resume gin distillery tours again. Based on current guidelines we aim to start tours by the end of September.
The first people to attend these will be all those whose pre-booked tours were cancelled due to COVID-19. We will be in touch with all of you providing options on dates. It will take us a while to get through this backlog as we’re operating at a 50% capacity.
If you book onto a tour, please only do so knowing you can attend. We simply do not have the capacity or administrative hours to be juggling attendees.
Will it be safe?
• On arrival all attendees will be temperature checked. We typically already have your contact details but if not, these will be taken. You will be asked to declare you’ve had no symptoms of COVID-19 in the last 14 days and also sanitise your hands.
• Please wear a face covering on arrival and while we seat you. You can remove it for the duration of the evening.
• Groups from separate households will have their own benches (2 per bench). Single stools are available for odd numbered parties. Seating will be spaced accordingly.
• We have sneeze screens in place at the counters/bar and in any instance when staff are on the attendee side of the screens, they will be wearing a visor and face covering. We will be operating a system whereby all attendees remain in their designated places unless going to the bathroom or making a purchase at the end of the evening.
• We will not be able to store bags or coats so please don’t overload yourself with large bags etc.
Has the tour changed?
Due to current restrictions there are some elements of the tour that need to be modified.
• Your first drink will be provided in a branded Campfire Gin glass for you to take home. We are removing the option of a second drink on site – instead we will be offering a 25ml measure of a Campfire Gin of your choice, plus a bottle of tonic to take away and drink at home.
• We are looking into ways to smell the botanicals.
• We shall be increasing the number of gins that you get to sample throughout the evening.
Is my voucher valid?
There are currently two types of tour voucher in circulation. The small business card sized tour voucher was replaced in December 2018 with a larger postcard (A6) sized voucher. If you have a business card sized tour voucher then sadly it has now expired, however you can still redeem it against product up until 1 November 2020.
Postcard sized tour vouchers have a 3 digit issue number and valid to date on the back. All tour vouchers of this type, with an expiry date up to 31.03.20 are no longer valid.
All vouchers of this type, with an expiry date after 01.04.20 will have additional time added to them. The length of time will be determined by the number of months we are closed for tours.