Published: 06:00, 06 March 2021
| Updated: 06:36, 06 March 2021
Pub boss Harvey Melia had to axe a virtual beer tasting session after 100 cans of foreign ale ended up trapped at Customs, apparently because of new post-Brexit regulations.
Harvey, 30, who runs the award-winning Paper Mill micropub in Charlotte Street, Sittingbourne, with his mum Marianne, said: "The beer managed to get from Budapest across three countries in five days but has been left standing in Stanford le Hope in Essex - about an hour's drive away - for nearly two weeks.
"No one seems to know what the hold up is but the carrier UPS told me it was because of Brexit complications."
In a post on the pub's Facebook page he broke the bitter news to customers. Thirty had paid £30 each to sample five different beers from abroad.
They were being shipped by Hungarian craft brewers Rothbeer to take part in an online Meet The Brewer session yesterday (Friday). But the delay has left the micropub without beer and forced Harvey to abandon the event.
He said: "I daren’t set another date until I have my hands on the beers. I don't want to keep disappointing people."
In his post he wrote: "Unfortunately we’re having to postpone Friday’s Mad Science Rothbeer online Meet The Brewer event as the beers are currently suffering Brexit-related delays at the border!
"We’re working with the brewery and the courier to free the beer as soon as we can and set a new date! If you have put your name down, your place will be held for the new date."
He signed off with: "Apologies for the inconvenience - three cheers for Brexit!"
He explained: "We often organise Meet The Brewers sessions where brewers come to the pub to talk about their products and customers have a chance to ask them questions. With lockdown we have had to be a bit more ingenious so I thought of getting beers sent to me so I can deliver packs to customers' homes about a week before.
"Then we get to discuss them with the brewers over the internet.
"Normally the beers take up to a week to arrive but this was the first session since January and the new post-Brexit regulations. I followed their progress using a tracker and they were doing fine until they reached Britain. I am told there has been a complication over their value and paperwork. It's unreal.
"The problem with beer is that it doesn't last indefinitely if it isn't stored properly."
He added: "I met one of the chaps who works for Rothbeer at a beer festival in Leeds and decided to set this up. They are amazing beers under the brewery's Mad Science brand. Tickets sold out immediately. That was the easy bit. It's just a shame no one can try them at the moment."
The five beers stuck in transit are Tívoli Galaxies, Bakancslista Sabro, Midlife Chris, Double Mango Madness and Brain Fog.
Harvey added: "The next session is going to be on March 26 when we have an all-British line-up of four of our favourite breweries."
February 17 - left Hungary
February 22 - arrived in Essex
March 4 - still in Essex because of "Brexit-related" distribution problem.