So much has changed for Staffordshire’s award-winning family run ‘micro brewery’ Lymestone Brewery.
Last December, bottled beer accounted for just 5% of its turnover. Today, it is all that Lymestone produces.
Housed in an old brewery building dating back over 150 years, it has had to close its two pubs, onsite brewery tap house and stop brewery tours because of the coronavirus crisis.
But faced with an overnight 95% loss in turnover from the pub closures, it adapted by launching a home bottle delivery service for its beer – and within days had sold the stock that was expected to last months.
Ever since it has been kept busy brewing new 2,000 litre batches specifically for its core bottled beers; Stone Faced, Foundation Stone, Ein Stein and Stone the Crows, along with Stone Dead, Abdominal Stoneman, Stray Cat Lager and Cherry Stone.
From almost a standing start, the Brewery has now seen sales hit 30 per cent of overall turnover – up by 25% in just four weeks.
Over and above the need to massively increase bottling production, Lymestone also had to set up an online shop to sell the new bottled beer range.
Said the Brewery’s office manager Viv Bradford: “As someone who has never run an online business before this has been a baptism of fire!
“It really has been an amazing achievement by everyone here at Lymestone to develop and adapt the business at a time when all could have been lost, especially our social media manager Tracy Hollins, who got the shop off the ground, almost from nowhere.”
Based in the market town of Stone, in between Stafford and Stoke-on-Trent, one of its special offers has already proved a runway hit – ‘The Survival Box’ containing 10 beers, two glasses, two packets of crisps, a couple of beer mats and a good old ‘Spot The Difference’, has been selling out fast.
And in the coming weeks it will continue its evolution with new beers and new offers.
Founded in 2008, the brewery runs out of the historical Bents Brewery building, built in 1889, in the market town of Stone, which has a well-earned reputation itself for food and drink, enjoyed at monthly Farmers’ Markets and annual Autumn Food & Drink Festival.
For more details about the Brewery and its new online sales, see www.lymestonebrewery.co.uk.
For up to date news on Staffordshire as a destination, visit www.enjoystaffordshire.com.