Cheers as Walsall brewery finds solution

The owners of a brewery have thanked their loyal local customers for ordering beer from them through the coronavirus pandemic.

Andy and Charlotte Dukes
Andy and Charlotte Dukes

AJ’s Ales at Long Acre Street, Walsall, has been going for six years.

Before the start of the crisis the bulk of the brewery’s beer went to pubs, but with the lockdowns and restrictions on pubs the business has had to completely alter its model.

Andy Dukes, who runs AJ’s with his wife Charlotte, said that 70 per cent of sales were now home delivery.

AJ’s had moved into new premises at Long Acre Street a year ago and started opening up its taproom on the last Saturday of each month before the pandemic but has been unable to open it up since.

“We have had to adapt to survive by launching home delivery and collection services for bottles of our four different beers,” explained Andy.

He said they would be continuing the home deliveries even when pubs could reopen

“When the first lockdown hit we had no way to sell our beers.

“We want to thank the locals who have kept on ordering from us – without them we would not have survived,” he added.

People can order the ales on 07841 459212 with collection from the shop on site Monday to Wednesday 8am to 5pm.

Andy and Charlotte Dukes

On Thursdays and Fridays customers can order mini kegs and bag in boxes for home delivery.

“For Christmas we have two specials – Rudolph’s Rain-Beer, a fiver per cent strength amber ale, and Stuck Up The Chimney, a four per cent pale ale.

"They will be available in December in mini kegs and bag in the box.

“Our most popular beer is SPA, a 4.2 per cent fruity pale ale. We have just had 2,000 litres bottled for Christmas.”

“We have had to completely change our business and it looks like we will come out of the pandemic stronger than we were in the first place,” said Andy.

When the pandemic ends AJ’s plans to open its taproom on a regular basis after getting a licence and will also be going live with an online shop in the new year.

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