As we come to the end of a year that has been strange, scary and mostly shit, we want to firstly say a massive thank you to everyone who has continued to support us. We’ve had to constantly adapt as circumstances have changed, trying to offer the best service we can while keeping ourselves and our customers safe. We really appreciate every purchase from the shop or order for delivery, especially those of you that have been regular customers this year. We’re also really grateful for all the social media shares, and people telling their friends about us. We know that not all our previous customers are in a position to spend money with us at the moment, so getting new customers has been key to our survival
Since serving our last drink in March we’ve had several layouts in the shop, including a period of serving from the front door. We’re pretty happy with the current set up, and it’s given us some ideas for how we could organise things better when we can fully reopen.
Offering a delivery service was never something we intended to do when starting the business, as we wanted to focus on talking to customers in person rather than dealing with them online. Offering sales via email has enabled us to still have some kind of dialogue with customers, helping people choose their beer, and to support those who couldn’t come to the shop once we reopened in the summer.
Despite having to cancel so many of the events we had planned for this year, including our beer festival in November, we have tried to keep things interesting with zoom beer tastings and virtual meet the brewer events, and still managed to fit in a couple of collab brews, making our birthday beer with the amazing Yonder, and joining up with local breweries Roam and New Lion on Born and Raised. Thanks to everyone who has joined in our virtual events – we really miss being behind the bar and chatting to people about beer, and chatting online offers a bit of that connection for us. These events, as well as our charity keg line, have also enabled us to make donations to good causes this year, including Plymouth Food Bank and the Michael James Jackson Foundation which was created this summer to help more BIPOC people make careers in brewing and distilling.
We have always been really conscious about where we bought our stock from, and who else is involved the supply chain, but this year has really brought this into focus for us. We have tried our best to support as many small breweries and distributors as we can, and the adversity we’ve all faced has brought us closer to friends in the industry. We can’t wait to go and visit some of these amazing British breweries and cider makers once it’s safe to do so.
Finally we want to recognise the local independent business community here in Plymouth. It’s been great to see all the ways that businesses have supported each other and collaborated, such as the Lord High Admiral creating a hub for other food and drink businesses. And we’ve been proud to work with businesses such as Nook Houseplants who had a pop-up here at Vessel, ALFA who created our amazing festive windows, and Yoke the Salon who have been a key voice in promoting local businesses and creatives. We know that we’ve been lucky compared to others in terms of the losses we’ve made this year, and so we’d ask you to support as many small businesses as you can, or some of them won’t make it through 2021.
We know getting back to normal is a way off yet, but we hope you have a peaceful and happy new year.
Love Sam and Katie. xx