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    Friday, 21 November 2008

    Having Too Big A Range From The Outset

    I had a beer from a Cornish brewery yesterday, which has only been going two years and already has 91 beers listed on BeerMad. I've had a few beers from the brewery, and while none of them have been bad, they have all been a bit meh, to use the latest word to hit our dictionaries.

    To have produced this many supposedly different beers in just two years is a step too far, and makes me wonder which market they are aiming their beers at.

    If I opened my own brewery I would concentrate on a very small core range for at least the first three months to ensure my beers were appreciated and that they were consistently well brewed.

    I think three or four should be sufficient. A low strength bitter, be it golden or brown; a stronger 'best' bitter; a premium bitter, and a dark beer either a mild or a stout. The experimentation should start afterwards with the beer range increasing at my whim.

    It is either a very brave, very good brewery which brings out tons of beers from the start, or a pretty poor brewery producing a lot of different beers knowing that a fair few people try anything once, and would not need to revisit the same poor beer.


    haddonsman said...

    Cards on the table, Mark - who are you referring to? Coastal?

    maeib said...

    I am, yes. But that's not really the point. I think it's true of any brewery which has such a lot of beers early doors.

    haddonsman said...

    But AFAIK Coastal have a core range of half-a-dozen beers, all the others are incessant tinkering. The market they're aiming at, therefore, is the drinker who likes their regular product and is willing to chance this week's 'special', knowing if they don't like it another one will be along next week.

    An approach not a million miles away from Derby Brewing Company's and - I imagine - a healthy number of microbreweries across the country.

    If a brewer doesn't find a core range they're comfortable and competent at brewing then you have a point - every brewer needs a bankable beer. But I'd rather see a hundred Coastal variations in the name of experimentation than twelve sterotypical monthly 'specials'....

    jocko said...

    Im a London scooper but i havent had or seen any Coastal beer.There are 2 aproaches brew really good beer then pubs will stock it regular or brew lots of different beers and pubs who rotate beers will buy it because of the diffrent names.Iknow a couple of scooping pubs where quantity rather than quality matter.