Thursday, March 19, 2015

New Breweries that Can and Bottle too soon

I have noticed with the influx of new breweries popping up lately, how many want to get a fast return on their investment with bottling and canning their beers right away.

I have talked to many sources and what I've learned is that the saturation point is all ready here but not where you think. It's saturated in the liquor stores with a limited amount of space availability in the cooler doors. Many of these breweries are starting out with state of the art equipment which means finance loans that have to paid.  Sam Scruby, head-brewer at Upslope Brewing commented that the neighborhood breweries was a way around that cooler door limitation.

I asked an acquaintance who is opening a brewery, Jesse Brookstein about what were their plans and he said that Call To Arms Brewing will be a neighborhood place for locals to hangout. He also commented that if they do bottle or can, it was likely that they would sell them on site not distribute.  Jamie Wells, of J Wells brewing hand bottles bombers than self distributes as a way to get customers into his taproom. Which for him was a smart move, since his brewery is in an industrial park not close to a neighborhood in Boulder. Front Range Brewing in Lafayette bottles speciality beers quarterly and sells them on premises. They also self distribute to a some liquor stores as J Wells Brewing does in Boulder, for the same reason to get their name out.

I'm not saying that a brewery can't sell their beers for distribution, I'm saying maybe wait until your beers are the best. What I mean is, craft that beer to be able to compete with what's all ready on the shelves.  I have drank some really okay beers that I wouldn't buy to take home. Some breweries hit it on the mark really fast like Niwot's Bootstrap Brewing with their Insane Rush IPA, the local liquor stores can't keep them on the shelves for long. 

I think that there are some people in the brewing industry that are in it for the future prospect of financial gain but those who are up on top got there with a great product like Adam Avery founder of Avery Brewing.  Like others, he started when the industry was in it's infancy but it took him over 20 years to finally build a state of the art brewing facility.  The industry has grown up since then and the beers out there are fabulously crafted, it's a different industry now with that influx of breweries selling their beers for distribution.

If you're going to distribute, the beer had better be killer because this is becoming a very competitive business.  Craft beer drinkers are getting more knowledgeable everyday that putting mediocre beer on the shelves will give a new brewery a bad name and word of mouth spreads fast.

These are of course one person's opinion, so please take it so.

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