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Good Beer Hunting

Jan 30, 2021

The word “community” is often overused in our industry. There’s our local community, the communities we’ve created around ourselves on our favorite social media platforms, or the craft beer community as a whole. But, these days, the more I hear the word, the less meaning I find in it. Are we actually choosing to connect, or do we simply happen to be in the same place at the same time?

Lucy Do found herself asking that same question earlier this year.

The purpose of Lucy’s business is—in her own words—“community and human connection.” And she provided that in spades at her West London micropub, The Dodo. She beams as she recalls a typical Friday night at The Dodo, poetically describing the sense of electricity in the air as conversation bubbled, cask beers were consumed, and new friendships formed.

But when COVID-19 forced her to close her doors back in March, she wondered if the community she’d built would survive without her venue as its hub.

From her initial panic in March, Lucy talks us through how she redesigned the business by creating opportunities anywhere and everywhere—from offering takeaway and local delivery of cask beer to designing at-home beer-and-food pairing kits, launching her own gin brand, and even working with the local council to open a pop-up in a large outdoor venue nearby.

Beyond the visible changes to the business as a result of the pandemic, you’ll also hear Lucy discuss the struggles that are less visible: her concerns for staff and customer safety, the challenge of navigating her team through such uncertainty, and above all, the mental health impact of these last few months.

Ever open and honest, Lucy’s desire to create meaningful connections with others has kept her going through these trying times. And, as you’ll hear, her community is stronger than ever.