So you think you should open up a brewery because you’re a hipster and it is the trendy thing to do, or you won a ribbon at a homebrew competition with your 15 grain/4 hop Belgian concoction and now think you are ready for the big time. News flash, your friends likely do not know what a great beer tastes like and no one is going to give you the feedback you deserve, your beer is average or worse.
If you are planning on opening a brewery today, the beer must not be average, you must be better than average or you will see your dreams ground to dust. If the tap is slow-moving at a draft house once that keg kicks something else will be put on the tap. If the beer languishes on the shelf of a bottle shop because it is an IPA and the store has a gazillion other IPAs just like it eventually the store will call the distributor and tell them to not bring that one back again. It is like being a one in a million kind of guy in China and there are a million other guys just like you. So if you plan to open a brewery, do it right the first time and kick it in the nads. I’ve seen too many lineups roll out with Pale, Stout, Blonde, IPA, etc. and all the brews are meh. I don’t go back for a second pint of ok beer, I go back for a second pint and tell my friends about beer which is above average. Many of you will make it for a while because of social media, friends, and loyalty and I applaud you for those efforts. Eventually you’ll figure out you cannot expand because there is nowhere for you to go. The brewery down the street is putting out better and more consistent products and you have been left in the dust. So before you jump in head first you might want to test the water with a toe. Look around, is the area saturated with a certain style, brew something different, something innovative. Do something which separates you from all the other craft breweries in the area and the beer geeks will beat a path to your door.
I can tell you one simple thing you can do which will differentiate you from the rest immediately, brew beer which is above average! If you don’t you’ll swim in a sea of mediocrity.