Getting back to Burleighs
This week, for the first time in over a year, the Covid restrictions in England are being lifted. No more limits on how many people can meet, no limits on events, music festivals, football matches, all the things we’ve been desperate to experience for so long are now finally within reach. The first big step forward, out of many, many other steps, tiers, and full-blown lockdowns, to returning to something that genuinely resembles our idea of normal. It couldn’t have happened at a better time: the sun is shining, the G&Ts are flowing (and have been for a while!) and it finally feels like we’re leaving the events of last year well and truly behind us. At Burleighs, we’ve been inspired by the countries’ wonderfully resilient hospitality industry and we’re really looking forward to supporting our local pubs, bars and restaurants as they return to normal service. We’re also very excited at the prospect of having a proper Christmas party this year!
Here at Burleighs, we couldn’t be more excited to return to our full-capacity events, whether it’s out on the road or right here at the Distillery. We’ve been running our Gin Academies at a reduced capacity since June, and it’s been so good to finally welcome people into the Distillery again. With only six of us working at Burleighs full-time, you can imagine how quiet it has been over the last eighteen months…
When Boris announced the very first lockdown all the way back in March 2020, we had to press pause on life as normal, both in and out of the Distillery. The team quickly adapted to working from home- everyone except Messy Bessy, our copper pot still who unfortunately (and thankfully) didn’t qualify for furlough. Let’s face it- we all needed the gin! After the nation collectively signed up to Zoom, we took our meetings into our makeshift home offices, as well as our Gin Tastings and our celebrations for World Gin Day. We took advantage of the no-visitors situation and refurbished the whole Distillery- the perfect way to prepare for reopening, however far away it felt at the time. We distilled, bottled, and packaged up our gin- lots of it- and found out it would take a lot more than a global pandemic to stop our lovely customers from enjoying a Burleighs G&T…or two… or three. It goes without saying that the pandemic affected us all and it was a really tough time for many. But we supported each other, the team carried on working hard and here we are, 18 months later, ready to reopen and return better than ever. I think we all remember those first few months of lockdown, but to be honest, the rest is a bit of a blur. And it’s not because of how much gin we were drinking! We ate out to help out, we clapped for the NHS, we baked lots of banana bread, we did PE with Joe Wicks. At one point we were all moved to literal tiers, Christmas got cancelled and somewhere along the line we all got used to masks, distancing, sanitising, testing, tracking, tracing, and everything else that comes with Covid. So many things have happened over the last year that it’s sometimes hard to comprehend what we’ve all been through together. At the heart of it all, though, was the motivation to be at the point we’re at right now- we flattened the curves and we passed the peaks, and now we can all finally feel the benefit of doing our bit. Whether it was volunteering in your local community, doing your nan’s shopping, or even buying a bottle of Burleighs to support a local business, it’s these actions that have got us all to where we are today.
The support we received (and still receive) throughout the pandemic has been nothing short of incredible. We’re always happy to make a sale, but the bottles you bought over the last year have given us more motivation than ever to keep doing what we do best- making top quality gin and creating unforgettable customer experiences. Even though it’s taken us until now to have no limits on social interactions and events, there have never been any limits on good times. Reduced capacity, full capacity, virtual capacity- here at Burleighs we’ve never been ones to turn down an opportunity to share our passion for gin with others. Throughout the pandemic and beyond, we’ll always stand by the mantra that Good Gin means Good Times. No matter who you enjoy it with, how you enjoy it or where you enjoy it, it’s the very act of enjoying something that matters. Especially when that something is a small batch craft gin, distilled by hand, produced by a small team where every single sip matters.