Back in December when people first started speaking about COVID-19 in Wuhan, it seemed very distant and not something that would affect us in Peterhead.
Brew Toon has had a really good start to the year, in January and February the Brewery Team built up the stock of kegged beer ready for the busy festival period and in March we were looking for it to be a record month.
Then things changed!!!
The first signs of change still seemed a bit distant and had been mainly around what was happening in London, but the signs were there.
First at Brew Toon to be affected was the brewery, who had worked hard to build up our stocks having been caught out last year with the ever-growing demand. The word was that bars and restaurants might have to shut and if this happened, we would need to stop brewing and work all this stock down, but would that really happen?
As a precaution we decided to play safe and stop brewing for a while till the situation was clearer and if there was not a lock down, we could work extra hours to catch up.
The lockdown seemed to hit so suddenly.
During the week there were conflicting messages about potential closures, but nothing definite, or what support there might be for businesses and their staff. Then on the Friday, from saying that there might be a need for the lockdown to ensure social distancing, to this is the last night and everything must shut.
We understood the reasons why and that it was needed for people’s safety, but there was still a lot of confusion around the situation and what businesses were going to do. The next few weeks were understandably difficult with people being on furlough and orders from bars being cancelled on a daily basis. However, these are the times to learn and try to become a stronger business.
The tables and chairs in the bar were pushed to the side and the labelling machines taken through from the brewery. Areas were set up for dealing with more on-line sales and after some helpful advice from Steve at Inter Sports we really started to push this side of the business.
To-date the online business has been really well supported, and we are working with various courier companies to ensure a good service for the deliveries that we are not able to deliver ourselves. For local deliveries we have made a big effort on ensuring quick deliveries and the Guys in the brewery are doing well to ensure we have a great range to offer.
They have also been busy in the brewery over the past few weeks with a few large orders, trying to build up or bottle stock and installing two new 2400ltr tanks that were needed to keep up with demand.
We are looking forward to seeing everyone again once this lock down is over and hope that everyone stays safe.
All the best from Brew Toon.