Welcome to my not at all a CBC talk. Let’s discuss why it’s important for breweries, once they start distributing to local non-beer focused bars and restaurants, to have a flagship that you can sell to those locations on a consistent basis.

This is the curse of “rotating IPA”s.

Imagine this – you work at “Amazing Brewing Co” and decide to brew nothing but IPAs and never brew the same beer twice. Sounds like you found the perfect segment for beer geeks to flock to. So popular in fact that local bars and restaurants want to put your IPAs on tap. You are living your best life!

But also imagine this, a new craft beer lover has heard of your brewery and is out at a local pizza place and orders the “Amazing Brewing rotating IPA” and loves it. It’s citrusy, sweet, and strong. Just what they love and think all IPAs should taste like, it’s perfect. They give it 3.5 stars on Untappd.

Fast forward a couple weeks and the same drinker is back at the same restaurant and orders the same beer, or so they thought. But what they got is a lower ABV, grassy, dry IPA that tastes completely different. Their first thought is they got the wrong beer and try to send it back. Once they find out they got the right beer, they then start to wonder if “Amazing Brewing” knows how to make beer since this is completely different from the one they ordered just a couple weeks ago and loved. First thing they do, of course, is head to Untappd and post a scathing no star review and they feel empowered. That nascent craft beer drinker will remember this experience when they see beer from “Amazing Brewing” and decide to order something else. The manager hears the complaint from the customer and may decide to replace that tap with something else.

This isn’t a new problem, but it’s a really bad experience for people trying to get into beer or your dedicated fans when away from your location. The key to this is that service locations that don’t have the ability or dedication to change their menus with each new keg could ruin your image, lose business for your brewery, and in the end, turn drinkers back toward big beer. The easy solution is to have a flagship beer, or two, and sell only those to locations that don’t have a consistently updated beer menu. So instead of a “rotating IPA” it will have a real brand name on there. One that can’t be rotated out.

For those of you that are still here, thanks for coming to my never submitted, not at all a CBC talk. I’ll open up the floor to questions. Please like and subscribe.