F*ck that virus in general, on behalf of everyone in the world. But now, to the subject. We wanted to share how we are doing at these uncertain and extremely vulnerable times.
tl;dr version: We’ll be fine at the end of the day. Read why.
How does the pandemic situation affect our brewery?
Won’t let us down! Yet, like every other brewery, our sales have dropped dramatically. That’s the truth. The uncertainty in the market affects all businesses, also breweries. When a lot of the craft beer is sold in restaurants and they are closed all over Europe, it certainly takes its toll. We expect the market to return close to normal pretty fast after the situation eases.
Almost half of our beer is dark and barrel-aged, so we focus a lot on our barrels now and ensure we have great new beers to launch after the crisis. We have adjusted production and our staff have been amazing and understanding. Everything feels relatively normal at the brewery right now, just no regular coffee table chats anymore and minimal contact.
What precautions have you made regarding the virus?
As many of you know, breweries need to be very strict on hygiene anyways. We have extended hygiene and HACCP procedures to offices as well and those who can, work either remotely or have separate offices. Biggest thing affected in our daily life is after work beers in a pub. Our Irish head brewer is furious!
Can you still visit the brewery or is the shop open?
We don’t do tours at the moment. We take visitors but ensure minimal interaction and risk regarding contamination. Our shop is open this Friday and Saturday and we prefer contactless payment over cash. All relevant surfaces and handles are sanitized regularly to ensure safety.
We will have some steady shop opening times once or twice a week, and also take pre-orders and load straight to the car minimizing contact.
And don’t worry, the beer is safe from virus.
How’s your staff situation?
We are not laying off people. As many companies are facing the fact that there’s zero revenue to keep things rolling, we are lucky enough to adapt. At least for now, but of course things can change.
Actually, we hired a new person as part of the team to ensure we are more than ready when dark clouds go away. Welcoming Meeri-Lii as part of Sori team! Meeri-Lii will be working with Sori brand in marketing and sales.
How secured is Sori Brewing financially for this global crisis?
For day to day compensation of the pandemic situation, we are waiting for the government to step in. Even though it’s a hopeless situation for most companies, we see a silver lining and execute our plan which even works in times like this.
We were in a way lucky that we didn’t hurry our expansion as our fixed costs are currently relatively low. The business is built to tolerate uncertain times to a certain extent. We stick to our plans to expand Sori Brewing within 2020-2021.
We welcome new investors (at the moment only in Finnish http://soribrewing.com/osakeanti) and soon open our expansion funding round in English as well.
How about Sori Taproom?
Sori Taproom is our joint venture company together with Tsökepojat Oy and it’s of course as affected as restaurants in general. We do our best to keep it afloat and want to thank our understanding staff during this difficult time. Our landlord, partners and everyone have been very understanding and helpful.
We keep the restaurant open until further notice, restrictions and precautions apply. Also opening a webshop to sell gift cards valid for two years, so you can both support and get a cheap night at the Taproom when things start getting back to normal. Stay tuned!
How do you see the future?
Would like to summarize that we see a lot of possibilities regarding Sori Brewing. We are a strong and established brewery and we are able to adapt fast. We expand in a year and will be stronger than ever. Now we support our brothers and sisters in the industry and do our best to stop the virus from spreading.