Like thousands of UK business, millions of people globally, covid-19 pulled the rug from underneath us and knocked the breath from our lungs.
Three months after opening our doors and our first mash-in, we closed the tasting room doors, mothballed our brewery and took stock.
Our trade customers stopped trading, closed up shop and like us, decided what the hell they would need to do to keep business on life support while the situation evolved.
We quickly adapted and threw together an online shop; we bought a crowler machine (for seaming and sealing empty aluminium drinks cans), and quickly formed a small team to hopefully fill and fulfil customer orders. I was sceptical at first. "Why would anyone buy beer for us when the choice was so abundant?"
My scepticism turned out to be unwarranted. We were bowled over by the orders we received over the last 10 weeks. People wanted to drink our beer! From Bristol to Belfast, Shetland to Sheffield, our crowlers and limited supply of fresh cans landed in places we never imagined when the sh*t hit the proverbial fan.
The shop and customer support we received has kept us afloat. It's helped us to establish a new customer base, which alongside working with our valued trade customers and wholesalers, has given us the green shoots of a customer mix which we intend to build on over the coming months.
Future of online
This will be our last week of online sales for the time being.
We are a small team and everyone mucks in across the business. Our focus has to switch to a recovery mode and this will take all of our time up as we get the brewkit fired up again, establish safe work patterns and prepare our tasting room for a reopening.
We then plan to bring in the professionals to revamp our website and webshop. We will address issues with courier pricing and packaging, so that when we have a new range of cans, they will be available to customers not only in the UK but overseas.
In the meantime, from Team Carnival we would like to thank each and every customer who has bought our beer, nearly customers who have browsed our website, bookmarked it and gone elsewhere. Keep an eye on our social media and keep in touch. Above all else, stay safe, be kind and be a Carnivalier!