Inaugural Mini-Series ~ Episode IV: “Excelling at Customer Service – A 1/2 Pint of Ideas”
Customer Service Award, Episode IV: Renegade Brewing of Denver
Though I enjoy drinking a hearty stout in the winter or a crisp pale ale in the summer, it’s those sours, brett beers, imperial ipas, bitters, double smoked stouts, farm house ales, and other variations on Belgian styles, that peak my interest and motivate me to drive longer distances for that next intriguing beer. Simultaneously though, I understand that smaller breweries have limited capacity, must meet the demands of local customers looking for their favorite pints, and must control costs by not brewing that rather illusive triple ipa.
So this week’s post begins with a question, because there’s certainly not one correct answer. Should breweries seek to brew at least a few specialty, obscure beers, something outside of the typical, usual styles customers see at most every brewery? A recent Beer Advocate article discussed the difficult trend small breweries face as customers now seek styles outside of the more straightforward and readily available ambers, ipas, stouts, and wheats. This puts breweries in a tough position, as not all costumers are looking for the same type of beer. What are the beers a brewery should put on tap? What are they interested in brewing that will also interest customers? There’s a thin line of success in these small businesses, so breweries must be careful.
Renegade Brewing of Denver set out to be a small brewery that pushes beyond the normal styles. They have done so successfully, and have set an example, becoming one of the more sought after breweries in the city. Renegade takes risks, but strikes a balance that works for them. Their same approach won’t necessarily work for everyone.
The risk taking arrives when a small brewery steps outside of the norm and goes for something a little different. Only the brewers and breweries can know when that moment is right, and if it fits into the vision for their establishment. I will always appreciate accessibility to more common styles, and will greatly respect breweries that offer a taste of something more unusual. We would love to hear from brewers, brewery owners, and/or customers about this topic. Please leave a comment or reply.
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.