Mauldons Brewery in Sudbury voices optimism for future after earning coronavirus lockdown champion award from West Suffolk Camra
A 225-year-old Sudbury brewery, which earned special recognition for its services during the coronavirus crisis, says it remains optimistic for the future, after applauding the response of its customers over the last four months.
Mauldons Brewery, based in Church Field Road, was presented with a Lockdown Champion award by the West Suffolk and Borders Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) for its support of the local community during the lockdown period.
The beer maker, which also owns The Brewery Tap pub in East Street, was forced to quickly adapt its business model for the lockdown, after its sales to the hospitality trade collapsed when pubs and restaurants were forced to close.
In response, the brewery launched an online shop and a delivery service for its products, while also expanding its supply for retail outlets.
Charlie Buckle, who took over Mauldons Brewery in September 2019, said the public’s response to the new services had been very positive, and that the business was “over the moon” to be recognised by West Suffolk Camra.
“Obviously, it has been very difficult since pubs were forced to close in March,” he told the Free Press. “Some remained open for takeaway, but otherwise, our sales during lockdown were made up of 98 per cent retail.
“The lockdown has been felt across the industry, but we have always been pretty reactive, and if there are different demands, we’ve always been able to change.
“We didn’t have an online shop before. We realised we were lacking in that department, so we quickly got that up and running. The online sales have been great
“We’ve had a fantastic response from our customers already. They have been on the phone and placing orders with us.”
Since the hospitality industry began to resume trading at the start of this month, Mauldons has reported the number of orders from the pubs it supplies in East Anglia and beyond starting to return to pre-lockdown levels.
The company also opened the doors of The Brewery Tap to customers on July 4, and Mr Buckle stated that patrons have been very understanding of the new social distancing requirements.
He added that, while there is still a degree of uncertainty due to the pandemic, he is confident in the brewery’s ability to recover.
“We’re really optimistic,” he said. “We’re very much looking forward to the future.
“We’re doing everything we can do to be as responsible as possible to our staff and customers.
“In the coming months, we’re crossing our fingers that we don’t have the dreaded second spike in cases and pubs have to close again, although it doesn’t look like that will be the case. Everything is looking rosy otherwise.
“The conversations we’re having with our customers are similar to everybody else. Everyone is still wary but, as long as people want beer, we will continue to get orders, and long may that continue.”
Mauldons Brewery is continuing to operate its online store and free deliveries on orders from addresses within 15 miles.
To find out more, go online to mauldons.co.uk.