What makes a successful brewery? One that produces beers that drinkers look for and retailers want to stock?
In today’s competitive environment where drinkers are spoilt for choice, simply brewing a good beer is no longer good enough. These days if you want to develop your brewery into a successful and sustainable business, you need to do more. If you are to stand apart from the competition and stake your place in the market, you will need to find a flavour of your very own.
If you’re looking to expand your operations and get your products into the hands of as many drinkers as possible there are four production strands that your brewery must consider in order to succeed.
Ensuring you and your team have the right skillsets is paramount to developing a successful commercial brewery. You may have started small and have a batch of local bars and bottle shops stocking your beer. But if you have aspirations to grow and make your beer more widely available you have to make sure you have the skills needed to produce a range of good beers efficiently and consistently.
As drinkers palates become more sophisticated so breweries wishing to scale can no longer rely on their standard range of core beers. Customers and retailers are looking for innovation meaning you will need to continually extend your product range, ingredients used, and styles. Producing a wider range of beers at the right time and in the right quantities to satisfy demand.
Successful breweries produce consistently high-quality beer. As you expand your operations so larger retail partners will demand this of you. That means having the right quality controls in place so you can evaluate your beer throughout the brewing process and safeguard your reputation.
A clear and well documented due diligence methodology is key to ensuring consistency. It will give you confidence in the microbiological status of your plant and final products, as well as allowing you to assess brewing consistency in terms of the ABV, pH, colour, and bitterness. These parameters define the flavours of your final products, so by comparing results for the same beers over time, you can assess how true to type each batch is.
Accreditation is often required by larger retailers. So if you are harbouring thoughts of seeing your beer on supermarket shelves, schemes such as SALSA (Safe and Local Supplier Approval) or SIBA FSQ (Food Safety & Quality) offer a quality standard, enabling you to demonstrate that your products are high-quality and free from contaminants but be aware your brewery will need to meet certain criteria in order to qualify.
It seems a little obvious to say, but as a brewer you are in the business of flavour. It’s important to know as much as possible about how and why your beer tastes like it does.
If you are going to brew great distinctive beers that stand out from the rest, truly understanding flavour is a must.
For example, what’s the difference between astringency and bitterness? What is mouthfeel and how can it be improved? Where do certain flavours occur on the tongue and what role do particular ingredients and processes play in the taste of your beer?
Being able to detect and understand flavour is important as it will help you find and fix faults and improve your drinker’s experience.
A strong primary taste profile may give your beer its character but it’s the subtler secondary flavours that make it really special. Successful breweries often have a signature flavour – a golden thread that runs through every product. It’s this that makes their beer recognisable and helps them build a legion of loyal fans.
So if you’re looking to take your beer to the next level, start by improving your understanding of flavour.
Continuing professional development (CPD) is important for professional brewers because it ensures your continued competence. It should be an ongoing process throughout your working life.
Setting objectives for short and long-term progression with a structured and goal-specific plan and access to well-structured training will help you develop your brewing skills and knowledge. Either through interactive, participation-based or independent learning. Brewing is an exciting and fast-moving profession and there’s no doubt that long-term success requires continual learning.
Master these four strands and you’ll be well on your way to reaching your goals.
Brewlab helps brewers and breweries across the world improve their skills, knowledge and the quality of their products through expert training, analysis services and project support.
If you are serious about scaling your brewery our experts can help you achieve your commercial objectives.
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