AUSTINTOWN – After a two-year break, Paladin Brewing ramped up canning and kept business brewing last year with carryout sales.
The microbrewery at 6520 Mahoning Ave. canned 11 varieties in 2020, “and there’s more coming in 2021,” says Abby Chandler, owner of CWC Productions and wife of Paladin owner John Chandler.
Canning was critical as carryout sales sustained Paladin during the pandemic. When bars were shut down, customers came in to buy six-packs, growlers, crowlers and cases of beer, Chandler says.
“One customer in particular came every Wednesday and bought at least two cases of beer that he then shared with family and friends by dropping them off on their porches,” she says. “He said he just didn’t want to see us close.”
Paladin sold through what it canned and is doing some reruns, as well as preparing other varieties for first-time canning, including its Hopatherapy American IPA and Double Edge Sword imperial double IPA.
Paladin also formed a partnership with Rulli Bros. and produced the grocery store’s 1917 Pils and Christmas ale.
Chandler engaged customers with virtual events in 2020, including beer school, game night and a tour of the brewery. She also sold hand-sewn masks with the Paladin logo and organized craft projects for kids, she says.
“Parents would pick up supplies when they came in for beer to go and kids could do a free craft along with me and our 9-year-old twins,” Chandler says.
The summer warmed things up in time for Paladin’s five-year anniversary. It hosted socially distanced events in its outdoor space, including clothing giveaways. In fall and winter, Paladin added tables in its fermentation area to keep customers spaced six-feet apart.
Amid current restrictions, customers come earlier and don’t stay as long, Chandler says. As more people get the vaccine, she is looking forward to again hosting more events and fundraisers at the brewery.