Brewery enjoys ‘busiest ever day’ with home deliveries after income hit by virus

A brewery that lost 80% of its income after Boris Johnson warned the public to stay away from pubs and restaurants said it has experienced its “busiest ever day” after switching to home deliveries.

Loddon Brewery in Reading said it saw the majority of its trade drop off overnight after the Prime Minister encouraged social distancing on Tuesday amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Marketing manager Dan Hearn told the PA news agency: “We haven’t had a single trade order since Tuesday.

“We normally do takeaway beer, but that was about 20% of our business. But we had to change that overnight.

“We really didn’t have the infrastructure but we pulled in everyone – our head brewer is answering the phones, our assistant brewer is out driving the van. It’s kind of an all-hands-on-pump situation, our sales manager is out delivering direct to the customer.”

He said the problem is one faced by “many breweries” across the UK as they try to find a way to make money supplying directly to customers.

The brewery, which started in 2003, has now almost reached capacity for deliveries and experienced its busiest ever day with deliveries.

Mr Hearn said: “We can’t physically do much more – we’ve got five vans and cars out on the road today delivering. We’re only a team of eight.

“We physically can’t deliver any more than we are and the orders are still coming, so if we’re here until midnight tonight delivering then we’re here until midnight. It is just what we’ve got to do because it’s our only option.

“But it’s a lovely problem to have.”