Southampton’s Unity to close

Audio Description

Login here to listen to the audio description

Southampton’s Unity to close

Another small brewer has been forced to quit in the face of rising costs and the effects of the Covid pandemic.

“It is heart breaking to have to close Unity,” says Jimmy Hatherley (pictured).

“Unfortunately the terrible combination of Covid, Brexit and the cost-of-living crisis have made it impossible for us to operate without making a loss every month,” said Hatherley who founded Unity in Southampton on a wave of optimism six years ago.

At first trading was good, and it expanded from its first site in Portswood to a three times larger premises in Northam in 2019. This was only months before the first Covid lockdown and the subsequent three years of enormous trading challenges.

Hatherley said: “Unity’s successes would have been impossible without our incredible team, loyal customers and awesome collaborators, as well as our 300-strong community of investors who have shown such belief in Unity, and I want to thank them all.

“I am absolutely gutted to close the shutters on Unity for the last time but I will always be so proud of everything we created together.”

Unity’s closure is part of a wider trend in the independent brewing industry, with 100 breweries having closed in the last year amid insurmountable rising costs and cautious customer spending.

Society of Independent Brewers chief executive Andy Slee has called for government to introduce vital support for small brewing businesses in response to further brewery closures.

“The brewing industry is the most taxed in the UK and is facing steeply rising costs, and a fall in consumer spending due to the cost of living crisis. For many breweries the battle to stay afloat is proving a real challenge.

“It is now vital that the government introduces a number of measures to help businesses survive, starting with the introduction of draught relief at 20 per cent, which would encourage sales in pubs driving money back into the economy and helping the breweries that supply them.”

Whats' Brewing Archive
view archive
What's On
view events