Horsforth Brewery owner overwhelmed with orders after lockdown social media plea

The owner of Horsforth Brewery had a "ridiculously amazing" response to a social media plea after online sales took a "massive hit" in lockdown.

Wednesday, 5th August 2020, 12:40 pm

Mark Costello, a former treasury dealer with Yorkshire Building Society, founded Horsforth Brewery five years ago - but decided to go full-time with the business just before lockdown.

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Mark has gone from producing beer in his garage to his own premises and taproom near Horsforth railway station.

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Mark Costello, owner of Horsforth Brewery.

But recent events made him realise "how fragile being the little guy is".

"We never managed to get our beers stocked there but it was the first of its kind in Leeds and it's closure hit the beer world hard," Mark explained in a social media post.

Secondly was the news that the Government has decided to increase tax rates for hundreds of small breweries by making changes to the Small Brewers Beer Duty Relief.

Mark at Horsforth Beer Festival at St Margaret's Church Hall in 2015.

Mark wrote: "This doesn't impact us in terms of the amount of duty we pay yet as we're too small, but what it does do is allow these bigger breweries to squeeze the price of cask beer down even further, the price for which is already ridiculously low (we actually lose money when we brew cask beer on our kit as we are so small).

"Both of these issues have shaken me a little as it just shows how fragile being the little guy is, and instead of coming out all guns blazing I've kind of hidden away and not promoted the brewery anywhere near as much as I should/need to.

"As a result, our online sales have taken a massive hit."

Sales were just 10 per cent of what a typical week was pre-lockdown, and five per cent of the peak period.

So, Mark decided to sell all his bottles at just £2 in a bid to turn the tide.

"This barely gives us any profit from each bottle, but it should at least give us some cash flow," he wrote.

Hours later Mark posted that orders for today (Wednesday) had jumped from two to 70.

He posted on Monday night: "I've had to close the shop tonight - I'm afraid the amount of support we've had from today's social media posts has been ridiculously amazing, so amazing I have had to shut the shop as I don't have the confidence we've got enough stock left, and we have so many orders to pack tomorrow and delivery on Wednesday I genuinely don't know if we will have enough time!

"I've got a few extra hands tomorrow, but I'm also doing a brew day, so it's going to be a tough one!

"I will reopen the shop once I've managed to get everything in order on Wednesday or Thursday.

"Thank you again, I can't explain the significance of today's sales in a social media post, but trust me when I say they will have helped this little brewery no end!"