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07th Dec 2020

Tier 2 pub serves bowls of Huel with drinks in order to ‘hack’ substantial meal rules

Wil Jones

The landlord calls it a “pretty clever way to hack the system”

Last week, government ministers were engaged in a debate on whether a scotch egg counted as a ‘substantial meal’. But now, we could be having the same debate about meal suplement Huel.

A pub in Plumstead, southeast London, is offering bowls of Huel powder in order to remain open and comply with current coronavirus regulations.

Pubs in Tier 2 are only allowed to serve alcohol with a substantial meal, leaving many ‘wet pubs’ that do not usually serve food being forced to close.

However Brian Hall, landlord of The Who’d A Thought It, believes he has come up with a “pretty clever way to hack the system”. The pub is selling bowls of Huel for £3.50, alongside pints of Sharp’s Doom Bar, its one regular beer.

“We’re a proper [local] pub and being closed has been tough for our regulars, especially the old boys who come down most days for a pint and a chat,” said Mr Hall, as reported by inews.

“We serve 1,000 pints a week, but food was never our thing and without a kitchen we thought we’d never be able to meet the ‘substantial meals’ requirement,” he continued.

Hall explained that to serve Huel, “all you need is a kettle, a bowl and a spoon.”

“It’s a hell of a lot healthier than the packet of peanuts our regulars are used to having with their pint, and if it means that we can get our doors open in the run up to Christmas then we’re all for it.”

Huel had reached out to Hall to see if he would interesting in serving the meal replacement.

According to the government restrictions, “pubs and bars may not provide alcohol for consumption on the premises, unless with a substantial meal, so they are operating as a restaurant. They may remain open for take-away services.”

Huel offers meal suplements in the form of powder, bars and liquid. The company has sold over 100 million meals in more than 100 countries.