The COVID-19 pandemic created significant challenges for the British pub industry, due to the uncertain conditions caused by the virus, changes in consumption patterns and government measures. Studies recommend that organisations adopt innovative and flexible business models to generate added value for customers and other stakeholders as a survival and growth strategy. However, such measures require business ecosystems which encourage co-creative engagement. This qualitative study extends the concept of value co-creation beyond its current boundary as a customer-driven experiential paradigm, reconceptualising it as a driver for societal benefits. Over the period March – December 2020, we carried out in-depth interviews with pub and brewery owners, managers, and customers, combined with netnographic and offline observations of pubs’ engagement with customers. We uncovered three stages of strategies and innovation during this period, which we term ‘survive’, ‘secure’, and ‘sustain’. We demonstrate how multiple stakeholders benefit from the innovations of pubs and breweries negotiating each stage, advancing current scholarship on sustainable value co-creation.