Choosing what flavors/styles to produce for distribution???
I own and operate a small brewpub in upstate NY. We are formulating a plan for a production brewery and are deciding on three beers to brew for local and regional distribution. Our brewpub receives rave reviews for our IPA and pale ales. We have love and affection for pacific-northwest style ales and our ales reflect that....our customers can't get enough of it. Our third beer for the lineup is up for discussion. I'm thinking something malty and well balanced. Other styles of beer we brew are blonde ale, amber (Irish red), nut brown, oatmeal stout, hefeweizen, hemp seed ale, bourbon-barrel stout, smoked porter, Belgian white, raspberry, peach, blueberry wheat, rye IPA, dunkelweizen, and a few more.
Like many brewpubs, our best seller is our "lightest"....blonde ale. I don't think I want to add that to our production selection though because it's a bit subdued and the average craft drinker might want something more. I do want to pick a style that goes well with food and would work well in a restaurant application. I'm willing to take a chance and go with a wild card like our hemp seed ale for the novelty, which is dry hopped heavily with cascade and centennial, or even a fruit beer since it appeals to women and some men. Part of me says to go with a malt-forward style to give the lineup some range...like our amber ale. If you had to pick three beer styles, and an APA and IPA were two of them, which would you go with?
Try the Blonde Ale, it is your best seller. No matter what you think will sell best, chances are something will sell better. Don't buy lots of labels for anything that you start out with.