What Pandemic Planning is Sticking for the Future?

​Because of how sales have changed in the pandemic and the future still unclear, Braxton Brewing‘s shift to a larger focus on e-commerce wasn’t something ​the Covington, Kentucky brewery had initially planned for.

​”​Thanks, in part to the necessity of it today, we’re now investing in the infrastructure to be able to ship our beer to consumers, beginning this summer​,” said Braxton CEO and co-founder Jake Rouse. “With strong core values and a solid mission guiding each of our decisions, it becomes a force of habit to make strategic and smart moves that will continue to drive Braxton forward.

​”​We expect e-commerce, which is a bulk of our business now, to expand throughout the pandemic and beyond.​”​

Since COVID-19​ hit the States​, ​Ecliptic has been offering takeout beer and food for customers, and it’s been fairly successful​ noted Colette Becker, Marketing Manager for the Portland brewery​.

​”​As we’ve re-opened our restaurant for dining in, we kept the take​ ​out model as well, as it seems some customers are still more comfortable with this option​,” Becker said​. ​”​We’re using an online ordering platform where customers can place orders on their phones, but we’re unsure if this is something that we’ll keep. There’s still so much unknown​.”

Ecliptic also uses​ a service called At Your Door for next​-​day beer delivery, which is something totally new for ​the brewery.

​”​It’s nice to be able to keep getting beers into our customers’ hands in any way we can, whether that’s a grocery, pick up at the brewery or delivery​,” Becker said.​

In Minneapolis, Indeed Sales Director Ryan Bandy said the to-go model is working for the brewery. A window in a back bar area was able to be converted for walk-up consumers and it avoids the other side of the building, where they have converted some of its parking lot into an extended patio. Orders can be placed online and delivery was still an option as well.

All of that means being able to connect via social media and online portals.

“Giving people unique offerings via that surface,” Bandy said. “Treating them kind of like they’re in here at the taproom, showing them a new beer and telling them about it.

“When you do that, I think people respond really well. We’re definitely keeping that going forward.”

When the time came to make ​the transition​ for Braxton​​, Rouse and the team​ also looked carefully at the qualitative data.

​”​Hard numbers can really tell a clear story, and we’ve found, when we trust in them, our decisions are made quickly and with much more confidence​,” he said. ​”​We’ve all been forced to learn a lot —​ ​and pivot even more​ —​ and backed by our family-owned and operated values, we’re confident we’ll be able to ‘lift one to life’ again soon.​”​

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