Praise for beer business

Craft beer sellers Haul Beer have received accolades from business broadband provider Plusnet for setting up shop in Stourbridge during one of the toughest years for generations.

Haul Beer’s co-founders Paul and Hannah Tunnicli have been recognosed as lockdown heroes by Plusnet
Haul Beer’s co-founders Paul and Hannah Tunnicli have been recognosed as lockdown heroes by Plusnet

The business has been awarded with Plusnet’s ‘That’ll Do Star’ for its perseverance.

As a business broadband provider, Plusnet wanted to go above and beyond for the small businesses, offering them free business coaching to help keep them on track as well as a professional photoshoot enabling them to further market their services and products online.

Plusnet has also launched a guide for new businesses with expert advice covering everything from using social media to avoiding burnout and hacks to get them through year two.

Nick Silverwood, head of business at Plusnet, said: “Here at Plusnet, we know all about courage, grit and determination and that’s why we’re recognising the many thousands of businesses that took the plunge in lockdown by rewarding them with a unique That’ll Do Star.

“We’re really thrilled to be taking our hat off to the incredible businesses launched over the last year across the West Midlands who are really making a difference to their communities.

“Plusnet already supports small businesses by offering business broadband, and we want to support these entrepreneurs further after an incredibly difficult year by shining a light on them and helping them continue their journeys into their second year.”

Haul Beer was started by husband-and-wife team Hannah and Paul Tunnicliffe and it sells a range of independent craft beers and ciders both online and in store.

They opened their Stourbridge business in August 2020 as a take-out bottle shop. And they received a fantastic response from the local community with their selection of craft beers and ciders from independent breweries both in the UK and worldwide.

They also have a website where customers can purchase online for delivery, opt for free click and collect or choose curbside pick-up if required.

Paul said: “We started trading during June 2020 at the height of the pandemic. At the time we were renovating our bricks and mortar shop and taproom which brought its own issues and no little stress. Not only did we need to completely strip down the mess of a building, which was previously a thrift store and had been thoroughly trashed while it was uninhabited, but we then realised, quite late, that the floor was riddled with damp and had to be completely replaced. It set us back a good four weeks which was pretty stressful.

“But we eventually opened as a take-out only specialist beer off-license in August 2020. We've grown from there and recently opened our taproom and evolved to be our town's newest hotspot. Things are going extremely well. Most people have been really complementary, and we’ve had a lot of great people following our progress and supporting us since day one. People always want quality beer - even during a global pandemic.

“We’ve got big plans. We're renovating our premises and looking at potential new venues as well.

"There are three things which are the heart of our success. One, we’ve utilised social media to promote ourselves and our products. This is essential and anyone not doing this well is missing out massively.

“Second we were determined to never be pretentious and to make sure we showed the ‘real us’. Customers can sense if you're hiding behind a brand that doesn't reflect your character. Customers want that human connection with you. Finally we’ve always been honest. We’ve admitted our mistakes and faults. We're all human and we're all always learning, especially when starting a new business. Your customers will happily stand by you if you present yourselves in a true and open way.

“Getting this award feels like recognition for people being brave or mad enough to open a business during lockdown which is lovely. I guess it's good to know that other people were kind of going for it too even though the world seemed to be a bit against them.”

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