Written by Tim, Andy & Contributors

The Stories Behind The Stats: The Craufurd Arms

The Craufurd Arms, Maidenhead

It might not be the easiest name to remember to spell correctly, but the Craufurd is a gem of a quintessential local pub that's embracing the changes in how the nation enjoys beer. 

The Craufurd first started stocking Soundwave in November 2019, and since then the relationship has grown and grown with our beers proving popular with their dedicated local audience. No pub closure was going to stop Neil from connecting with the local community and as well as take out beers they've started to support the local food share. 

Find out more about them, and add this awesome spot in Maidenhead onto your list of post-cincinno descendit beer destinations. 

Here's our chat with Neil, the GM. 

Who are the Craufurd Arms?

The Craufurd Arms is an independent community owned pub that was rescued almost 3 years ago by the local community from closure. We have over 237 current shareholders/investors, a committee on behalf of the shareholder group of 7 headed by Mark Newcombe (Chairman), who appointed me to run the pub in 2018.

We will be celebrating our 3rd birthday in June 2020 during lockdown and are known as a real ale pub, winning the CAMRA Pub of the Year two years in a row. Prior to the lockdown we prided ourselves on having 5 real ale pumps, and in the winter of 2019 we opened a brand new kitchen too. Currently we hold two craft ale taps both supplied by Siren, with Soundwave and Refractions.

How have the last few weeks looked for you?

Like most pubs, we closed on Friday 20th March at Midnight under government guidelines, but reacted quickly arranging a meeting with Myself, Mark (Committee Chairman) and Steve (Our Accountant) to put emergency plans in place.

We re-opened Sunday 22nd providing a takeaway and delivery service (which was set up online within 24 hours) to the local community in Maidenhead, providing real ale, lager, craft beer and cider, fresh from the draught pumps.

We decided to open 7 days a week for two hours per day and obviously this has adversely affected the bottom line with takings down almost 80%. However, we were determined not to give up and ultimately survive beyond Covid-19.

Over the past few weeks we furloughed our staff and have applied for (or gained) bounce-back loans and government grants and assistance from organisations like The Plunkett Foundation to name a few.

To help the local community we have set up a Foodbank collection service assisting Maidenhead Food share, and a community book share in our garden. Of course whilst adhering and keeping to social distancing and government guidelines.

We are currently exploring obtaining Perspex panels, headed up by our Chairman, Mark, and looking to see if we can be ahead of the curve for opening limited parts of our pub. For example, the Garden, which we will be extending in the coming weeks to help with social distancing.

Has being community owner kept up the inspiration?

I think everyone involved in the Craufurd Arms is together and on the same page. After spending so long fighting to get the pub we now don’t want to lose it, as once a pub closes even prior to Covid-19, it very rarely re-opens. We all have a never give up attitude and looking to the day we can celebrate together with a proper pint in a pub in the near future!

Is that what you're most looking forward to at the end of all this?

I think everyone will agree that it’s the social element we all miss, anyone involved in the pub trade likes the life and you have to be a people person. I think the banter and never knowing who may come through your door next is a real buzz, and something I personally sorely miss.

Pre lockdown days!

At The Craufurd Arms we like to think of ourselves as a family. This includes the owners (Shareholders and Investors), the committee, the fabulous staff (that I’m very lucky to have) and our amazing customers. Without them we wouldn’t be open at all.

We also miss the live sports, music nights and regular events like the quiz, darts and cribbage. Those all bring in so many familiar faces and we're looking forward to that returning, along with welcoming back everyone to The Craufurd Arms very soon!!



See the rest of the Stories Behind The Stats here: sirencraftbrew.com/stories