Buying a Canning Line in the midst of a Pandemic
Last May we had the unfortunate opportunity to celebrate our 5th birthday during a pandemic lockdown. When we opened the brewery and taproom in 2015, we couldn’t have possibly imagined this scenario in our five-year plan, especially given the well-known statistic that half of small businesses fail in their first 5 years.
Rather than play it safe and wait out the storm, we decided to view Covid-19 as an opportunity to go on the offensive.
Our first step was to reimagine our business. In March we got to work, launching our online beer store, a new website and a delivery service, rehiring a number of staff members in the process.
Next, we decided to develop an entirely new product called The Fizz, a fermented seltzer. Good Robot brewer Giovanni Johnson said, “Seltzer is made by fermenting cane sugar, malted barley and a clean yeast that ferments at a high gravity. It is very carbonated and refreshing.” Good Robot had a hit on their hands with the Moon Mist Fizz, selling out in a week. You will be able to find it in your local NSLC soon! Also, there are more exciting Fizz flavours coming this summer! (Watch out for Key Lime and a Tropical Fruit Fizz designed after Juicy Squirts)
Finally, we took a massive financial risk and borrowed $130,000 to purchase a new on-site canning line. Co-founder Josh Counsil said, “When our revenue has been slashed by 80% and you make such a huge financial investment in the company, everyone out there is exclaiming ‘What the heck are you doing!?’” But the bold move turned out pretty good. Our designers got back to work to start creating beautiful can art while the brew team began sending delicious Good Robot beer into sealed metallic cylindrical vessels. Canning beer has become such an exciting and rewarding part of our business.
This has been a wild year, folks. Thank you for your camaraderie and your good vibes. We have enjoyed delivering boxes of beer safely to your door through this incredibly tough time.