L-R: Simon Middleton, business growth manager at Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership and Make It York; Ainsty Ales founder Andy Herrington.
Jane Imrie

York microbrewery toasts national growth with new e-commerce platform

A York microbrewery is set to expand its horizons beyond the region with the launch of a new e-commerce platform.

Ainsty Ales has launched its new online store in order to expand its national reach as well as keep the business going throughout the imminent second national lockdown.

Founded in 2014 by Andy Herrington, Ainsty Ales initially saw sales drop by more than 80 per cent during the first lockdown.

The company stayed afloat however through the introduction of a weekly drive-thru and community shop, as well as the creation of a heated outdoor taproom during the summer.

Now the firm has pivoted to offer online shopping in order to tap into new markets as well as serve its existing York customers.

Andy explained: “Coronavirus dealt us a severe blow. It was a very difficult time, but by being resourceful and rolling our sleeves up we managed to stay afloat.

“York is the heartland of Ainsty Ales, our ales take pride of place in many city pubs, and we continue to be supported greatly by our local pub customers. Whilst Coronavirus was an initial blow, and continues to cause major problems, it has opened our eyes to other opportunities and new markets.

“The e-shop will allow us to open our door to craft ale-lovers nationwide, just in time for the second lockdown. Initially, we will only be selling within the UK, but ultimately my goal is for Ainsty Ales to become an international brand.”

The firm’s e-commerce platform was part-funded by a grant from the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

Andy continued: “I’m incredibly grateful to the LEP for the support they have given us, and with Tony’s guidance and the new e-shop, I see Ainsty Ales entering a new and exciting phase, with our award-winning ales being enjoyed UK wide.”

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