You can’t go to the pub, but Belfast's The Hatfield House is bringing the pub to you.

By Mike Pomranz
April 13, 2020
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Deception Pale Ale holds a special place in my heart. Abbeydale Brewery doesn’t bottle or can this beer, meaning, typically, I can only drink it in the pub.  But during my COVID-19 lockdown, I’ve found another way to get my fix: The brewery will deliver mini-kegs direct to my door, so even though I can’t go to the pub, it genuinely feels like a part of the pub is coming to be—a small slice of sanity in this isolated world.

Plenty of people feel that same way about Guinness: A Guinness just isn’t a Guinness unless it’s been poured at the pub. So in Belfast, Northern Ireland, a pub is helping locals enjoy the simple pleasure of a freshly poured beer by bringing pints of Guinness direct to their door.

Credit: LEON NEAL / Staff/Getty Images

According to The Irish Post, since shutting their doors due to the coronavirus pandemic, The Hatfield House has tossed a portable tap system onto the back of a van and begun delivering pints of the world’s best-known stout across Northern Ireland’s capital (along with other food and drinks). “We are delighted to be able to offer all our customers the goodness of a freshly poured pint delivered to their home in the safety of isolation,” the pub explains on its Facebook page. “The service areas in the mobile units are sanitized after every use for your safety. Looking forward to serving you all soon."

Pints are poured into plastic cups by a mobile bartender wearing latex gloves who then leaves the beer on customers’ doorstep to ensure social distancing. The Hatfield House even stresses that they will refuse any walkup orders. “Folks, as with all our deliveries, this is a contact free service; please do not approach us on the street if you see us,” they continue. “We cannot accept an order unless it has been called through to the number above. This is for the safety of both our customers and staff.”

However, that need to call ahead is the one frustrating part of the service: Orders must be placed the day before. I know Guinness says the perfect pour takes a bit of patience to let the head properly settle, but 24 hours is likely a bit longer than most pub patrons are used to. And yet, I’m not saying it isn’t worth the wait.