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Sam Smith's horses deliver beer at home

Added: Wednesday, April 15th 2020

Sam Smith's

Yorkshire’s oldest brewery has found a way to boost morale and keep business going during the lockdown – by delivering booze to residents in a horse-drawn cart.

Samuel Smith, which has its own stables close to the site, is running the home delivery service for residents in Tadcaster and Stutton in North Yorkshire.

The shire horses usually make the rounds in and around the area to deliver casks to pubs, but with venues closed to curb the spread of the coronavirus, they have become a welcome sight on residential streets.

Simon Crook, stable manager at the brewery, said: “We’re making people’s lives a bit happier, more smilier. The children are absolutely loving it because they’ve got nothing to do now. They come out when they hear us, they’re waving but keeping their distance.”

He added that the service had initially been started as a way to keep the horses fit and healthy. “Our horses have to go out on a daily basis. They’re not show horses, they’re meant to work,” said Crook.

Customers, who can order online or from the brewery’s on-site deli, The Little Delicatessen in Tadcaster, are asked to stay two metres away from the cart while bottles of beer – sold in packs of 12 – are placed on doorsteps.

Crook said he and his colleague make the deliveries with two horses five days a week, and wear gloves in an effort to protect themselves against the virus.

The family-run brewery, which was founded in Tadcaster in 1758, set up the traditional-style delivery service 15 years ago, and according to their website everything in the yard “is done quietly because that’s the way the horses like it”.

Yet despite offering some light relief to residents in dark times, Samuel Smith Old Brewery and the more than 200 pubs it owns are likely to be facing challenging times.