Part Three: Mash Paddle Brewing Company
Brantford – Breweries in the province have been allowed to remain open, with restrictions, since the province ordered the closure of all non-essential businesses and services in mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many have still faced challenges and changes to their operations and are now pivoting to brew up business in response.
Mash Paddle Brewing Company, located on Sherwood Drive in Brantford, is coming up on its sixth anniversary. Owner, Teddy Sholten, says, it’s not the way they were hoping to celebrate, and instead have been required to “move and pivot to survive.”
“We took basically 90 per cent of our market that got shut down through licensees and taproom sales and turned around 10 per cent of our retail to 100 per cent of our business,” Sholten explains. “So it’s a lot more painstaking and labour and a little slower, but we have to do what we need to do to continue on and we’re happy that we’re allowed to be open in some capacity.”
Mash Paddle has now turned to offer their product in cans as an additional retail revenue stream. which involved an investment in new equipment to do so. As a result, Sholten says they’ve been able to keep their staff employed and busy.
“We had to invest in a can seamer,” Sholten says. “Instead of bottles, people like taking that package out more we’ve found. We didn’t do that initially because we didn’t have enough product to sell, so we just enjoyed our margins with in house sales through draft. Now that’s gone and the most economical way for packaging and take-out we found was canning. In doing that, we might grow our business in the future.”
“We’re pleasantly surprised with the support we got from our customers that come in regularly. The licensees, that were allowed to open for take-out, have been buying our product to sell ‘to go’ which is still supporting us. We do our best to support them the same way.”Teddy Sholten, Mash Paddle Brewing Company
Golf courses throughout the province were recently allowed to re-open, and Sholten says, that is also good news for Mash Paddle. “Fescue’s Edge, one of our draft customers, are now taking our canned product. They’re still supporting us in that way.”
While changes made in response to the pandemic are promising, Sholten also says, they are looking forward to welcoming back thirsty customers but admits that it will look quite different for the business. Sholten says, their space was designed for community gatherings and is currently lobbying the city to allow Mash Paddle to use some of the parking lot as a serving area when breweries are given the green light to allow customers to return for a pint.
“Thanks to everyone still doing their job on the frontline and we can’t wait to open!”Teddy Sholten, Mash Paddle Brewing Company