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If you’d have said this time last year I’d be sat writing a blog about local home deliveries I’d first have wondered ‘what the hell is interesting about local home beer deliveries?’, and second ‘surely I have better material than that! I’ve got a guitar… I could write about my guitar….’
But this year is not like last year…this year is mean, uncompromisingly cruel and just as restrictive as accidentally getting both legs stuffed down the same trouser hole (so our 4 year old tells me…) . It’s totally turned all of our worlds on their heads. It’s meant friends of ours have closed either temporarily or permanently. Its like no other year most of us have lived through. And lets face it. It f****g sucks.
When Mr Johnson told the entire population to avoid pubs way back in mid March, little did we know what utter f**kery was to follow… I mean that initial direction should have given us a glimpse of the chaos that was to ensue. Pubs are able to trade…. But customers are advised not to visit them… Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I think it was, or is, an easy thing to manage, but I do think there needs to be some consideration of consequence.
Since Totally Brewed started in 2014 our main trade has been to pubs as wholesale cask and keg. It’s a massive part of our business model. It’s fair to say we got a bit left behind in the initial moves to craft can sales… and frankly until recently our online direct can sales just simply did not exist.
And then the pandemic…..
So the first thing we did was close everything, go home and panic… and sulk a bit if I’m honest. We then hit what I like to call the Panymoon Period. Working for yourself is a f***ing slog… you are almost always on duty. And then, suddenly, we have NOTHING to do. So I did what any self respecting brewer would do. I started a major gardening project. It’s nearly finished now, looks great, you should come see it.
Obviously we soon (very quickly) came to the realisation that a lockdown of gardening was not good enough. We love our brewery, we love our staff and more importantly, we love our customers. As I say, direct sales has never really been on our radar, but we have our very wonderful Brewery Tap ‘Totally Tapped’ in Beeston and we didn’t want to let our awesome customers down there or any others further afield. So a Nottingham home delivery service was born!
On that first Wednesday when I put our available beer list on our Facebook page, it went bonkers!! We sold out very quickly. The local beer delivery community would follow the ride on Facebook. After our first delivery day (When we finally finished at 10pm… oops ) we got so much love from our customers, in such shitty times, there was such a good vibe. After that we would give regular updates throughout Friday beer deliveries to say when we started and finished and if we were delayed. It was like being cheered on by a virtual packed pub. We truly will never forget those times.
Initially we did everything over Facebook for the first 4-5 weeks then thought, f**k that, and made the move to a webshop. The admin involved in processing the orders took over a day in itself. I’m not gonna lie, the learning curve was pretty vertical, we had over 100 home deliveries every Friday so had to add another day for Nottingham beer home deliveries. Beeston had and still has it’s own dedicated day (You utterly rock Beeston!). We are truly humbled by the support we’ve had from our home town. I say this a lot, but they are truly getting us through this both in terms of buying our beers, but also keeping us sane!
And so our local Nottingham home deliveries have grown from there. In September we introduced a national beer home delivery service, which is small but growing all the time. We’re really excited to be introducing new products all the time. We’ve just released Totally Boxed In mixed packs so people get more for their money and more variety.
So yes, the pandemic has right royally sucked ass this year, but it’s made us stop and re evaluate our priorities and our products. We’re really hopeful we can survive as a business and that’s due to the incredible support we’ve been lucky enough to receive from our local communities.
We can say with some confidence, we’ll see you on the other side.