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Thread: Coverting commercial beer selection into own brewed selection

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    Coverting commercial beer selection into own brewed selection

    We currently are a restaurant with 14 beers on draft, and 35 beers in bottle. We are turning into a brewpub, already federally approved. I have many different styles of beers we will be brewing ourselves. We plan to open with 5-6 beers on draft, and work up to about 8.

    I am having trouble figuring out a way to slowly convert the taps over to our beer, but then how and/or what do I do with the other taps? And do I keep bottles? rare, expensive beers? I know I will have to keep a light beer on draft, but would I serve commercial beers opposite of the styles I am producing and serving?

    This is getting me all wrapped up. Thanks for any advice or input!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Florence, Oregon, USA
    First, I don't own a brewery or brewpub. I would think though that you have to figure out what your clientèle is coming into your establishment for. Is it the craft beers you currently present them, the food, or is your restaurant/Pub just the local destination spot.

    I wouldn't sacrifice any sales by replacing current "Sellers" with my beers. I would brew my beer in the style I wanted, and if it was close to one of the commercials, I'd offer the customer a taster of mine and ask if they wanted it instead.

    Over time, you may find the commercials are over taken by your own craft product, or not. The goal, I would think; is to stay in business.
    Last edited by Scott M; 05-05-2012 at 12:05 PM.
    Scott Maurer
    Brewer, making the best beer I can
    Just Off North Jetty Road, (in my Barn)
    Florence, Oregon

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Boise, ID
    This seems like a pretty simple problem to overcome. You won't have enough beer ready at one time to change over everything at once so just start working your beers into the lineup as they become ready. Once they are on and you gradually add more and more of your own handles you'll know whether or not you need to stock other beers by your customers choices and your own capacity constraints. If your customers are buying more of your beer than someone else's then you add more of your own handles. If they aren't then you probably wasted a lot of money starting a brewery.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011

    Brewpub and tap line up

    I just added a brewpub to my pizzeria about six months ago and went through the same thing. Even with two comparable ales, one on tap, one in a bottle, the customer went with whichever one was LOCAL. It got to the point were I was selling beer based on the fact that it was an hour away, they really didn't seam interested in style...

    I got rid of all my bottles, because, well, honestly the margin was better for me to sell MY beer than to sell the other guy's (which I was constantly running into delivery issues).

    As far as changing over, this is really a function of marketing than product IMHO. I went from a three tap kegerator to 10 taps, three of which had soda's. One day we were serving Stone IPA, the next day it was MY IPA. I opened with two beers on tap, the week after I had four, and so on until they were filled. The anticipation of,"What's coming next week?" drove sales (by turning my once a month customer into a once a week customer) and "re-trained" my staff and customers to EXPECT diversity in my taps and to be FLEXIBLE when the IPA was out.

    My two cents, for what it's worth- make it a month long event, promote beers you bring on tap and ditch those bottles-unless you don't mind carrying hard to find/expensive bottles, but do you REALLY want that in inventory? I, personally, would have reservations, but I guess depending on your market it could be a good thing. I'll contest that you'd still sell out of YOUR barley wine, before you'd sell out of a bottled one.

    Good Luck!

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