An independent brewery based in Shropshire is in a celebratory mood after scooping a prestigious accolade at a leading industry award ceremony – recognising its impressive online presence during and since the pandemic.
Hobsons Brewery, based in Cleobury Mortimer, has been brewing a range of delectable ales since 1993 and claimed the ‘Commercial Achievement’ award at this year’s SIBA Business Awards in Liverpool.
A tight-knit team of 22, the brewery has been successfully retailing its beer on the world’s largest ecommerce platform, a move which broadened its customer base, helped it navigate the turbulence of the pandemic and ultimately, impressed the judges.
Seeking to congratulate excellence in the industry, the SIBA Business Awards recognise efforts taken by brewers to make their business more sustainable, innovative or successful, with last night’s final being held at BeerX, the UK’s biggest beer and brewing trade event.
Before the pandemic, Hobsons’ business model was 80% on-trade and 20% off-trade, but in 2020, the industry faced arguably its biggest challenge to date. Recognising the need to diversify its offering, the brand began to retail its products on Amazon, which allowed it to distribute beer nationally and maintain a sustainable commercial trajectory.
This approach eventually led to the employment of five seasonal members of staff to assist with packaging during peak times and on Monday 19th December 2022, it set a new record, selling 632 units in one day — exceeding the most units sold on the Hobsons website in 24 hours by 900%.
Commenting on the award win, Nick Davis, Founder of Hobsons Brewery, said:
“I am immensely proud of last night’s achievement and to be recognised on the national stage really highlights just how far we’ve come. The pandemic dealt an unprecedented hand for the brewing industry and thanks to the amazing team around me, we persevered and discovered new ways to get people drinking our beer. Without them, this achievement would not have been possible.”
Hobsons Brewery has grown to become a leading independent brewery at the forefront of sustainable technologies. Its green thinking saw it win the SIBA Green Business Award in 2010 and again in 2021. The success at this year’s event demonstrated that beyond its passion for the environment, the brewery is continuing to go from strength to strength and producing a quality product — something it describes as brewing the ‘Hobsons way’.
Nick continued: “Events like BeerX are a real reminder of what a great industry we are part of, and as much as the award celebrated individual success, there was a real collective sense of celebration for the resilience and innovation shown across the brewing world. We are proud to be part of this community and look forward to another exciting year of doing what we do best!”
The awards organiser, SIBA (the Society of Independent Brewers), was established in 1980 to represent the interests of the growing number of independent breweries in Britain and currently represents more than 825 independent craft breweries. Its vision is to ‘deliver the future of British beer and become the voice of British brewing’.