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Thread: 8 Beers on tap, tell me your opinion

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    3

    8 Beers on tap, tell me your opinion

    I am in the process of starting a brew pub in a state where 3.2 beer reigns supreme. If you don't serve Bud Light you are going to fail sort of state. Therefor it is crucial that my customers can walk in, order the house light beer, and find it a suitable replacement for an American light lager. As they become more educated they can then progress up the chain of beers, APA, EPA, and on up to IRA maybe one day. My beer choices are as follows (all will be served from 7 BBL serving tanks in a cold conditioned room)
    As my customers begin to like real beer I was considering bottling 1 BBL batches of Russian Imperial Stouts, Imperial IPA's, etc so that real beer is available to those few select people who appreciate it (without me wasting an entire serving tank on beer only 1% of customers would ever try). So what does everyone think?

    1. Cream Ale
    2. Wheat
    3. English Pale Ale
    4. American Pale Ale
    5. English or American Brown Ale
    6. Irish Red Ale
    7. American Amber Ale
    8. Oatmeal Stout

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Redmond (Seattle), Wa
    Posts
    362
    Sounds like a lineup that can all do well in the lower gravity zone/less mature market. When you say you are going to do 1 BBL batches of these higher gravity styles, I would suggest thinking about the following. With a 7 barrel system and these high grav beers, you most likely will be only getting 4-5 barrels of wort anyway. Make a full batch. These styles also lend themselves to long periods of storage/maturity (compared to your standard beers) so I would make as much as possible and keg it off to free up serving tanks.

    BTW: Not to be an ass but the large domestic breweries do make real beer and to very high standards, they just happen to make fairly boring styles. (thankfully so to keep us busy and happy!)

    -Beaux

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    54

    Question

    Just out of curiosity, how are you going to brew a 3.2 Russian Imperial Stout or a 3.2 Imperial IPA? Doesn't that defeat the purpose? I also am not trying to be an ass, I am simply intrigued!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    3
    3.2 is what my state calls "non intoxicating beer" and is sold in gas stations. Liquor stores can carry any ABV they want, but the beer cannot be below 70 degrees F. I can brew 10% ABV if I like, but I cannot sell it in a cold room in a gas station, only through the pub or warm in liquor stores. I will be focusing on Draft sales through the pub only, so most of my light beers will be in the 5-7% range with darker stouts in the 8-10% range.
    As for 1 BBL batches, I will (at a later time) have a separate 50 gallon pilot system to do just that. It will be easy to get 10% RIS with that system.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    33
    not to be an ass, but what back-asswards state (besides Utah) pulls shennanigans like this? (unless you are referring to Utah, in which case, I would definitely sound like an ass).

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    194
    If you are starting up a brewpub why would you care what you can sell in a gas station or whatever dispensing spot in Oklahoma (based on your profile zipcode) you can get into. A pub alone will most likely consume as much energy that you can muster and then some. Don't freak on trying to get 8 beers online out of the gate. Just check the local drinking habits and get some consistent quality beers on line that are in that alcohol/hop/taste range. Add the next layer of the onion one beer at a time and listen to your customers and grow your "flavor portfolio" slowly and let your customers guide you. You aren't going to convert the group one batch at at time but you can definitely help steer the course, maybe not change but influence at best. Don't forget to have fun along the way, the trip is the best part of getting there.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Point Pleasant Beach, NJ, USA
    Posts
    65
    When I go to brew pubs, it seems that most of the times, American Amber whatever, the IPA, Stout and Wheat are unique, and then whatever else they have tastes very similar to each other no matter what they call them. I agree with Steve, let it develop as you go along. Have 4 or 5 beers you can be proud of and have the Bud Light tap pay the electric bill.

    Tom

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Kernville, Ca USA
    Posts
    201

    i agree with valleybrew

    I agree with valleybrew. When we opened (just a little over a year ago) we started with four beers: Blonde, Amber, IPA, Stout. This went over very well. Once I got confortable with the system and equipment I started brewing seasonals and this has our locals trying different styles and you can get a fill for your locals tastes. I also agree with the comment about kegging off your higher alcohol beers. You will sit on those and they will tie up your tanks because with the higher ABV beers people are only going to have one or two instead of maybe 3 or 4 ?? Just my 2 cents..

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    3
    Thanks for the replies everyone!

    davidmeyers: Oklahoma, the back-asswards state indeed LOL Thats why it is so important to me to establish a real beer drinking Pub that educates our customers.

    Valleybrew: I have no plans on selling 3.2 beer ever. I agree that a Pub alone will occupy all the time I have available, especially considering that I will be brewing every batch of beer rather than pay someone to have all the fun. The only reason I want 8 beers on tap from the start is my clientčle. The suburb of Edmond is different than the average Oklahoma location. Homes here are 4,000 square feet, there are several Ferrari's, Lamborghini's, and tons of Mercedes and BWM's. I need a lot of stainless steel "Stuff" for these guys to even consider coming in. My main competition is the $12 Martini bar 8 miles away and the Bud light bars that populate every town in this great State. If I did only have 4 beers on tap that would leave 4 serving tanks empty (assuming that I purchase all equipment at one time). I already have recipes for all 8 beers tailored to 10 gallon batches, I just need to convert them to 7 BBL batches, which is much harder than I originally anticipated.

    ECB: I can see how EPA and APA could be considered close in taste, but most of my beers seem to be quite different wouldn't you say? I have 4 pales and 4 ambers/stout.

    kylesmi: Well if three of you suggest it, I must at least consider opening with 4 beers and then adding one a month for 4 months. My only fear is that the grand opening will not be as impressive with 4 beers as 8. I just assumed that beers that do not sell well the first quarter could be changed out for a similar beer with a different name which has had its recipe adjusted to the local taste once I get started.
    I agree with everyone concerning kegging higher ABV beers. Making 1 BBL of RIS and kegging it into 2 kegs would be much better than filling a 7 BBL serving tank.
    Last edited by Rockclimber; 07-28-2007 at 03:28 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    194
    Quote Originally Posted by Rockclimber
    Thanks for the replies everyone!

    I need a lot of stainless steel "Stuff" for these guys to even consider coming in. My main competition is the $12 Martini bar 8 miles away and the Bud light bars that populate every town in this great State. If I did only have 4 beers on tap that would leave 4 serving tanks empty (assuming that I purchase all equipment at one time).
    I am not trying to tell you not to put all 8 on at once but evolve toward them. Your assumptions on what the public will enjoy and purchase may be different than reality. Just be prepared to follow your customers trends initially and work on moving them to new styles later once your base business is established. You may have one beer that far outsells the others and be forced to double brew and use 2 servers for that beer. This is exactly what happened after we opened with our 8 servers and 8 different beers. Many people in the general public are less worried about having a large selection of styles to choose from, but are more concerned with that what you have is of good quality and is consistently produced. If you are competing against $12 martinis and swill beer I hope that there is indeed a base of patrons who will appreciate your products, (I'm sure there is it just may take time). The other wild card is the food and atmosphere. These are as equally important to repeat business. You really only get one shot to get it right, the first time. Enough soapbox for me LOL, I wish you the best luck.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Oconomowoc, WI USA
    Posts
    106

    little beers at or around 3.2

    Bohemian Style Pilsener
    Original Gravity (šPlato): 1.044-1.056 (11-14 šPlato)
    Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (šPlato): 1.014-1.020 (3.5-5 šPlato)
    Alcohol by Weight (Volume): 3.2-4% (4-5%)
    Bitterness (IBU): 30-45

    California Common Beer
    Original Gravity (šPlato): 1.045-1.056 (11.2-14 šPlato)
    Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (šPlato): 1.010-1.018 (2.5-4.5 šPlato)
    Alcohol by Weight (Volume): 3.2-4.3% (4-5.4%)
    Bitterness (IBU): 35-45

    American-Style Dark Lager
    Original Gravity (šPlato): 1.040-1.050 (10-12.5 šPlato)
    Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (šPlato): 1.008-1.012 (2 -3 šPlato)
    Alcohol by Weight (Volume): 3.2-4.4% (4-5.5%)
    Bitterness (IBU): 14-20

    German Style Schwarzbier
    Original Gravity (šPlato): 1.044-1.052 (11-13 šPlato)
    Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (šPlato): 1.012 -1.016 (3 4 šPlato)
    Alcohol by Weight (Volume): 3-3.9% (3.8-5%)
    Bitterness (IBU): 22-30

    English-Style Summer Ale
    Original Gravity (šPlato): 1.036-1.050 (9-12.5 šPlato)
    Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (šPlato): 1.006-1.012 (1.5-3 šPlato)
    Alcohol by Weight (Volume): 2.9-4% (3.6-5%)

    Ordinary Bitter
    Original Gravity (šPlato): 1.033-1.038 (8-9.5 šPlato)
    Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (šPlato): 1.006-1.012 (1.5-3 šPlato)
    Alcohol by Weight (Volume): 2.4-3.0% (3-3.7%)
    Bitterness (IBU): 20-35

    English Style Pale Mild Ale
    Original Gravity (šPlato): 1.030-1.036 (7.5-9 šPlato)
    Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (šPlato): 1.004-1.008 (1-2 šPlato)
    Alcohol by Weight (Volume): 2.7-3.2% (3.2-4.0%)
    Bitterness (IBU): 10-24

    Scottish Style Light Ale
    Original Gravity (šPlato): 1.030-1.035 (7.5-9 šPlato)
    Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (šPlato): 1.006-1.012 (1.5-3 šPlato)
    Alcohol by Weight (Volume): 2.2-2.8% (2.8-3.5%)
    Bitterness (IBU): 9-20

    Scottish Style Heavy Ale
    Original Gravity (šPlato): 1.035-1.040 (9-10 šPlato)
    Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (šPlato): 1.010-1.014 (2.5-3.5 šPlato)
    Alcohol by Weight (Volume): 2.8-3.2% (3.5-4%)
    Bitterness (IBU): 12-20

    Scottish Style Export Ale
    Original Gravity (šPlato): 1.040-1.050 (10-12.5 šPlato)
    Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (šPlato): 1.010-1.018 (2.5-4.5 šPlato)
    Alcohol by Weight (Volume): 3.2-4.2% (4.0-5.3%)

    Irish Style Red Ale
    Original Gravity (šPlato): 1.040-1.048 (10-12 šPlato)
    Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (šPlato): 1.010-1.014 (2.5-3.5 šPlato)
    Alcohol by Weight (Volume): 3.2-3.6% (4-4.5%)
    Bitterness (IBU): 20-28

    English-Style Brown Ale
    Original Gravity (šPlato): 1.030-1.036 (7.5 9 šPlato)
    Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (šPlato): 1.004-1.008 (1-2 šPlato)
    Alcohol by Weight (Volume): 2.7-3.2% (3.2-4.0%)
    Bitterness (IBU): 10-24

    German-Style Leichtes Weizen
    Original Gravity (šPlato): 1.028-1.044 (7-11 šPlato)
    Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (šPlato): 1.004-1.008 (1-2 šPlato)
    Alcohol by Weight (Volume): 2.0-2.8% (2.5-3.5%)
    Bitterness (IBU): 6-20

    Belgian Style Pale Ale
    Original Gravity (šPlato): 1.044-1.054 (11-13.5 šPlato)
    Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (šPlato): 1.008-1.014 (2-3.5 šPlato)
    Alcohol by Weight (Volume): 3.2-5.0% (4.0-6.0%)
    Bitterness (IBU): 20-30

    Belgian-Style Table Beer
    Original Gravity (šPlato): 1.008-1.038 (2-9.5 šPlato)
    Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (šPlato): 1.008-1.034 (2-8.5 šPlato)
    Alcohol by Weight (Volume): 0.4-2.8% (0.5-3.5%)
    Bitterness (IBU): 5-15

    Classic Irish Style Dry Stout
    Original Gravity (šPlato): 1.038-1.048 (9.5-12 šPlato)
    Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (šPlato): 1.008-1.012 (2-3 šPlato)
    Alcohol by Weight (Volume): 3.2-4.2% (3.8-5%)
    Bitterness (IBU): 30-40

    Sweet Stout
    Original Gravity (šPlato): 1.045-1.056 (11.3-14 šPlato)
    Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (šPlato): 1.012-1.020 (3-5 šPlato)
    Alcohol by Weight (Volume): 2.5-5% (3-6%)
    Bitterness (IBU): 15-25

    Oatmeal Stout
    Original Gravity (šPlato): 1.038-1.056 (9.5-14 šPlato)
    Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (šPlato): 1.008-1.020 (2-5 šPlato)
    Alcohol by Weight (Volume): 3.0-4.8% (3.8-6%)
    Bitterness (IBU): 20-40

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Corvallis, OR
    Posts
    50

    Dont rule out an agressive one!

    I would say take a chance on an IPA. If you have 8 tanks and plan on serving 4 beers to start, you have room for an IPA to sit around. Yes the majority of people may not drink it, but this could be the beer that creates a buzz about your joint and brings in the beer geeks, even light beer drinking demographics have a handful of these people around. Hell I remember when I started drinking good beer in Indiana. I started on the Wheat beer and quickly moved up to pales, stouts, and then IPA. The biggest seller for the brewery was their wheat, but the biggest seller in their mug club was the IPA. It was nice to have those other beers to move into and look forward to. And being human, seeing other guys drink those agressive beers made me want to drink them also!

    nick

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    79
    I would agree with Nick that you should have at least one "beer geek" friendly beer. Just as you do not want to alienate the main stream drinker by producing all over the top beers you can drive away a segment of your drinking population, that will turn out to be very loyal, if all you offer is mainstream.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Tokyo Japan
    Posts
    209

    Edmond huh?

    I'm from Tulsa myself, but I do hear that all the big stuff going up these days is all in Edmond...

    Given what I know about the Oklahoma beer market, I'd say you've picked a good city for a restaurant/bistro, but not a brewpub. Keeping in mind that most of those people who are living in those 4000 square ft houses are wine drinkers, my advice is to do whatever you have to to get them in the door for the restaurant first...your beers can come second.

    With Tapworks not so far in Bricktown, I'd set up shop at the bar and see what people in the area are buying. Last I was down there, Boulevard wheat was going strong, but there was some interest in Bridgeport Pale Ale as well. American wheat beers are popular in the state, so I'd definitely get one of those on the menu. Just look at how well Choc has done over in Krebs! I like the steam suggestions as well, Anchor has long been popular in Oklahoma.

    Also, if you can mimic Rogue's Hazlenut Brown I'd say that could be a winner as well.
    www.devilcraft.jp
    www.japanbeertimes.com

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Central Minnesota
    Posts
    11
    I'm about to get brewing at a new pub as well. It's actually the same location where I used to brew(we had a honey wheat, red, stout, pale ale & seasonal), but it is new owners and we will be doing all new brews. There are a lot of light beer drinkers in the area, so I plan on doing a light golden ale and a amber for them. I'm doing a IPA which might move up to a double IPA in the winter for beer geek cred and I'm debating if I should do a rotating dark beer tap. Our stout was always the slowest seller with the last owner. This would allow me to do stouts/porters, etc. in the winter and lighter dark styles i.e. browns, dunkels, milds in the summer. Do you folks think this is a good idea? I would have a spare tap for seasonals that I want to push the envelope on. Trying to figure out if the rotating thing is a good idea or if I should have four beers that stay the same(for marketing of brands-t shirts, etc.) and one seasonal rotating tap. What do ya think?

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