Can you tell us a bit about your business?

Brew Toon are a microbrewery & Tap Room established in 2017 and based in the nautical town of Peterhead. We brew exciting & innovative craft beers, and pride ourselves on creating unique, quality beers which we sell throughout the UK.

How has the Coronavirus crisis impacted your business so far?

COVID-19 has had a huge impact on the way we run our business. Our Tap Room & brewery tour experience has been forced to close, likewise a large proportion of our beer sales to our on-trade customers (bars, festivals etc.) has been heavily restricted since the start of the pandemic. This has forced us to completely adapt our business & product offerings, to ensure that we survive and continue to operate as a viable local business. Having put a lot of focus and investment at growing our on-trade market which had reached around 70% of our overall sales, we have had to completely flip the way we work, switching our focus to off-trade opportunities.

How has your business needed to evolve and change to operate in this environment?

Through a lot of hard work and support from the local community, we have managed to adapt really well to the current situation, and this has helped us maintain the same level of growth that we were achieving prior to COVID-19. We have worked tirelessly to develop a good e-commerce platform and new level of stock which has enabled us to find new routes to market and grow our off-trade sales. We have had to innovate and develop new products and packaging to enable us to operate effectively during these restrictions. This has led us to launching new beers and packaging formats such as mini-kegs and growlers so that customers could enjoy fresh draught beer at home. We’ve also had to invest in new durable packaging to ensure orders arrived safely with customers and not to restrict our e-commerce market to local sales only.

Has it presented opportunities which you would not otherwise have considered?

Certainly on packaging it has presented some opportunities for us to explore new formats; mini-kegs for example which we may not have been as viable had lockdown restrictions not been in place. E-commerce had always been an area we wanted to grow sales, but this has perhaps forced us to act quicker with investment here.

Finally, how are you celebrating this Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight?

To celebrate Scotland F&D Fortnight, we will be enjoying as much of the quality local produce as possible. We are fortunate in the NE that there are vast amounts of quality Scottish producers and so we’ll use this opportunity to make an even greater effort to support these businesses.