Steel Tank Update January 2021

It was 27th December 2017 when we welcomed some of our friends and supporters for a drink at The Steel Tank for the first time.

We genuinely couldn’t have envisaged what has developed since then. Building a pub from scratch and gaining such large and diverse group of regulars whilst winning South Hants CAMRA Pub Of The Year twice in a row has been more than we could have ever hoped for when we mused about doing this 5 years ago as we sipped a pint of Hophead in The Guide Dog. For what it’s worth it still gives us a buzz to see Chandler’s Ford in the Good Beer Guide and achieving that was our aspiration. Our customers have helped us surpass that with their superb support from day one.

Obviously this year has been tough. The things that made us strong and competitive – being family run, fully independent and free of tie in a small intimate space with a large range of cask beer doesn’t really work well with how the world is right now. The thought of only having a couple of beers on and 12-odd people at a time who can’t interact with each other seems ridiculous and is totally unviable.

We have tried to adapt as best we can and remain positive despite some pretty tough days. We have invested in making our take-away service as safe and easy as we can and have made every effort with our range of beers to be as varied and interesting as possible whilst supporting our local breweries.

Some establishments are regularly being incredibly open and frank with the difficulties that they are facing via social media and the like - this has and never will be our style or approach. As strenuous as it has been we know that we are still very fortunate to have a business that is functioning and has had such consistently strong support since March. Lots of people have had a much worse 2020 than we could ever comprehend and our problems are frivolous in the grand scheme.

Everybody has opinions on how we should do things (even before a pandemic!) or how we should try and circumnavigate the restrictions or make individual exceptions etc. We have stuck diligently to the rules since the day we opened and will continue to do so. This pub is our livelihood and playing the game fairly is always the best policy, despite how frustrating it can be.

So it looks like the next few months are going to be challenging for us and our industry as a whole. We are confident that we are going to see you on the other side of this with full vigour. We have work/alterations scheduled in the New Year that we think will make the Steel Tank better and safer for everybody both sides of the bar in anticipation for when we can welcome you back properly.

We battled for over 18 months to open the Steel Tank against some pretty pedantic and tiring resistance. We didn’t throw in the towel then and we certainly are not going to now or any time soon. Chandler’s Ford has been our family home for nearly 30 years and we are proud to be a part of this community and look forward to being so for many years to come.