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Dundee’s 71 Brewing hopes sun will shine on new beer garden with sustainably-built bespoke bar

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The brewery has transformed its courtyard into a new beer garden which includes a bar built from a box they received some new equipment in. Brian Stormont finds out more.

A bespoke bar built out of an old crate will take pride of place in a new venue in the centre of Dundee which opens on Saturday (August 22).

The city’s 71 Brewing is opening a beer garden to the rear of its brewery in Ure Street where drinks will be served to up to 90 people from the sustainably-built bar.

71 Brewing ordered new equipment for their operation which was delivered in an enormous wooden packing case.

But rather than throw it out, the city brewer decided to give it a brand new lease of life as the centrepiece of their new outdoor area.

Work on the bar in progress.

Bespoke bar

Craig Cunningham, sales operations manager at 71 Brewing, said: “We got a piece of equipment delivered which came in this huge woodchip box which seemed too good to throw out so we used a local company, Draff, that takes our spent grain and spent products, presses it and turns it into furniture, so they took the box and made it into a bespoke bar for us.”

Providing the weather is good, the new beer garden, which has 15 socially-distanced benches and is a “total sun trap for 12 hours a day”, will make its bow on Saturday from noon to 10pm.

The outdoor bar will then be open every Saturday at the same time and on Fridays from 2pm to 10pm.

Although walk-ins are welcome, it is preferred that people pre-book their places in the beer garden through 71 Brewing’s website or Facebook page.

Craig continued: “We had something in our Taproom previously, but there wasn’t a great deal of capacity and we couldn’t really do a lot with social distancing, so we decided to do something a bit bigger.

The new beer garden.

Hectic

“It’s in the yard on Ure Street at the back of the brewery which is now fitted with 15 benches, all spaced well apart. Six people per table, three households per table so we have space for 90 people.

“We decided four weeks ago to go ahead with it so it has been a hectic four weeks getting everything in place.”

The Covid-19 outbreak, which has hit hospitality businesses hard, affected 71 Brewing who were no longer able to welcome visitors on tours or to the Taproom where they could sample their beers.

“It will hopefully replace our lost revenue from the Taproom which we lost straight off the bat from the coronavirus pandemic when everything got locked down,” added Craig.

“We got some of that back through our online sales and web sales, but as the pubs started to open again we saw that beginning to dip so we were looking to bring that revenue back somehow.”

Ordering app

Ordering your beverages at the new beer garden is done simply by using an app you can download on to your smartphone.

“We have an app 71 Tap and Bottle which is how we are doing the ordering system for the beer garden. You don’t have to wait on anyone to take your order and you don’t have to queue,” continued Craig.

“We did a trial run and it all seems to work well and people were getting drinks in under two minutes.”

“We are allowing walk-ins but our preferred way of operating is a booking system. Simply turn up, download the app and order your drinks. We also have luxury toilet blocks that are coming in, everything is self-contained and it will be a one in, one out, system.”

And don’t worry if you aren’t a beer lover, there are other drinks available.

“We just have beer on draught, but we also have cider and pre-mixed spirits, soft drinks and it’s kid-friendly and dog-friendly,” said Craig.

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