Since 2016, May has been the brewery’s busiest month in terms of sales. This year, 2020, we were also anticipating to be getting ready to open our long anticipated visitor centre.
Of course we are absolutely not alone and there’ll surely be businesses in much worse situations but the May we are now experiencing is rather far from the one we were expecting.
As earlier blogs have mentioned, pre-coronavirus Swannay Brewery was about 70% draft (/draught) beer and add into that about 33% Orkney. An indeterminable aspect of the Orkney business will have obviously been linked to the vast tourist season on the islands, too.
May 2020 and we have no draft business (that is casks and kegs to pubs) and currently no tourist trade on the foreseeable horizon.
April 2020 was our first full month of pub-less trade and a visitor-less Orkney and the numbers are quite startling. Comparing like-for-like sales (not including the website) April 2019 vs. April 2020 sales were 95% down.
Last year the website was 1.5% of April’s sales; this year the website was 90% of April’s sales. These numbers are a crazy turnaround. It’s a 2,700% increase on website sales and that alone has allowed us to keep paying our bills and keep brewing. Total sales for April (comparing 2019 to 2020) were just over 50% down.
In 2019 we brewed 15 times in April, this year we brewed only four times, but we are still brewing.
Overall, the website is really keeping us going just now so a big thank you to everyone who is ordering. Despite the phenomenal increase in website sales our overall revenue for April was still less than half of last year’s. We are thinking about our longer term future just now and how to position the business to be less draft beer, and more packaged beer, oriented.
Thanks again for the ongoing support.