| Traits of Successful Breweries
by Michael Stephens
Hello Bob -
I've worked in the beer industry for quite a few years and have
noticed that while there is no one model for success the best
breweries share common traits. I thought your readers might like to
see my conclusions remembering that they come from a business
perspective, not necessarily the consumer side.
If the people behind the beer from executives to brewers aren’t
excited about what they’re doing, chances are no one else is either.
The strongest brands have a living, breathing energy that seems to
emanate from their products and people.
The beer itself should be exciting and interesting. Unless a brewery
truly brews the best lager or hefeweizen, there will need to be a
differentiating factor in the production process. Perhaps the lager is
brewed with rye, or the hefeweizen has the banana and bubblegum
esters cranked up to eleven. These in turn allow for more creative
A successful brewery never wants to have a customer doubt them
for any reason. It's reputation is one of the most valuable things it
has. Loyal locals are the foundation upon which solid reputations
are built. A positive reputation is a strong indicator of quality,
business leadership, and accountability.
The successful brewery must care about more than simply making a
buck. They should generate natural goodwill and brand equity and
show they have a clear vision of quality beer and it's future..
It's clear to me that an educated consumer will be able to gauge a
brewery's own knowledge and interest by their inventory. If they
keep up with the latest in beer trends and emerging styles craft
consumers will identify with the brand. As such it's important to
frequently update social media and websites.
It has been said that “how a person does one thing is the way they
do everything.” A product speaks volumes about the business that
makes it. Successful breweries don't take short cuts and check
Pick any element of a beer business, and reliability is key.. Can the
consumer and retailer be sure the brewery's products are always
fresh and are reliably consistent in quality?
One last thing is that successful breweries realize that overall quality
brings brand loyalty. Many consumers buy by brand since they
accept that it comes from that place that insures it will be well made.
Brand loyalty will lead to brewery success.
Craft beer is a very competitive business. When breweries fall we
who love craft beer lose a little but by the same token, when a
brewery succeeds we all gain.
Bob, hope you found some of this interesting. I enjoy reading your
column because it's the voice of beer people. You'd be surprise
how many people in the industry check it out to see what some of
the public is thinking.
Thanks for all you do for beer!
Thanks Michael for your very informative and important article. Your
approach from an industry/supplier gave us a unique insight. Your
points are well taken. I would hope all breweries new and old, take
them to heart.
Again, many thanks for sending your article. I'm sure the readers will
find it as interesting and informative as I did.
I'd like to invite everyone to send me their own columns about anything
related to beer in any way just as Michael did. I select the best and
publish them here. So join in and get writing!
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