In early November I was surprised at the amount of Christmas decorations everywhere. I even saw a mall Christmas tree one week before Halloween! Despite the hectic feel and busyness of the season, it is still one of my favorite times of year. Most everyone is in a good mood and Christmas day is such a peaceful day. That got me thinking about breweries and how they can best navigate through the holiday season sanely and profitably.
If you are in the brewing industry you are likely familiar with Ekos, a craft business management software. Ekos has been working on their programming for the batch process for a long time. I first got a sneak peek at last year’s user conference. Over the summer, I received an email from Ekos telling me to prepare for the new batch process. They made a two-minute video which summarizes the steps that brewery owners need to take. I highly recommend that you watch the Ekos video and review the enhanced batch process page on the help portal. They have spent a lot of time creating articles explaining the changes to the system.
Whenever you sit down to review your financials a thought often comes to mind…how are we doing compared to other breweries? Are we as efficient as everyone else? Is anyone else making any money? Those answers are tough to come by….most craft breweries are privately owned, so we can not go to the stock market to see how our industry is doing. There is the BA benchmark study (more on that in a later post). So we need to rely on any benchmarking data that we can get our hands on.
Continuing from Part 1, this post contains questions asked of me during the 2018 Brewery Accelerator Workshop in San Diego, California, followed by my answers.
I received the July/August edition of The New Brewer magazine in my mailbox last week. I know that it’s the “technical brewing issue”, so why should business types be interested in the contents of this edition? I found two articles hidden inside all of the technical speak that are worth taking a look at:
In June 2018, Dr. Bart Watson, Chief Economist for the Brewer’s Association, shared an article about the changing demographics around craft drinkers. The percentage of craft beer drinkers has historically been weighted on the side of males, however stats from Nielsen are revealing a small but significant shift. In 2018, when looking at craft drinkers who enjoyed brews ‘at least several times a year’, 31.5% are female while 68.5% are male (source: Nielsen Harris on Demand).That’s an increase in females by 2% from 2015.
Lately, it seems that everyone is talking about the slowdown in craft beer. The areas open to new breweries are shrinking on a daily basis. The greater number of breweries in a given area, the harder it is to standout in the crowd. Taproom patrons are happy, but wholesale sales begin to stagnate. With the increasing number of choices, it is hard to maintain sales much less grow sales.