Inaugural Mini-Series ~ Episode II: “Excelling at Customer Service — A 1/2 Pint of Ideas”
Customer Service Award for Episode II: Equinox Brewing of Fort Collins
Information saturation is a wonderful thing. Beer enthusiasts are traveling around drinking all varieties of beer to not only enjoy a good lager or ale, but to also be educated about what different breweries are doing with both common styles and crafty brews. In every glass of beer there’s a lesson, a story, a detail that’s important and that will positively affect the tasting experience. This information might range from an ingredient list to IBUs or ABV to the genesis of the beer’s name to the specific stylistic approach of the brewer.
My tasting days began in wineries, and as we traveled the Central Coast of California in June, I was reminded that nearly every winery offers a tasting sheet that explains the many elements of each wine to the customer. And while a few breweries offer similar detail, (like Elevation Beer Company of Poncha Springs) many do not. I wonder why.
In lieu of a tasting sheet, some breweries have highly trained bartenders and servers who can be quite helpful when you have questions (like Grimm Brother’s Brewhouse of Loveland). I am always surprised though when we come across someone pulling the tap handle who doesn’t know the main hop or malt profile in a beer, let alone the intricacies of the particular style.
So what can breweries do to answer the call for information saturation? 1) Offer a detailed tasting sheet/notes for their regular beers with a secondary temporary sheet for seasonal, specialty or pilot beers, and 2) spend a bit of time training staff about the house beer and encourage staff to continually expand their knowledge about what’s on tap.
Beer might be the great social elixir, the foundational community builder, the tastiest drink on the planet, but it is also a product being sold in a highly competitive market. Customers need information to know what they’re going to buy and why they want to come back and drink some more of it.
Explanation of Customer Service Posts: At Colorado Brewery Days we strive to remain positive in our writing about beer and breweries. Our goal is not to offer criticisms on beer, but to advocate for the craft beer scene, particularly in Colorado. After visiting just about every brewery operation in the state, (and several more all over the country and world), we felt that we might be able to provide some ideas for breweries to increase their success as a small business. We will never point out a brewery that doesn’t do things quite as well as they might, but we always provide an example of a brewery achieving a high level of customer service in a particular area (presented in our weekly award). Please let us know if you have questions or if we can help brainstorm additional ideas or advice.