Tips for Planning the Next Year-Round Beer for Your Portfolio

As beer experimentation continues, new beers can be hits or misses. Sometimes somewhere in between. Sometimes your brewery may explore a style that takes off and can become a core brand for years to come. Determining whether the beer you just sold out of quickly is a one-time occurrence, it can be a seasonal hit or if it’s ready for continued portfolio production is a thought process.

Jeff Wood, the Creative Director for Texas’ Rahr & Sons Brewing, shared his thoughts with a list of questions that you as a staff should be asking?

“Does it have a reason for being in our portfolio? Will it compete and/or cannibalize a current brand? Is it marketable? Are we following a trend, and how long do we expect the trend to last,” he said.

Pelican Brewing‘s Darron Welch noted that a beer needs to have a reason for existing.

“[It needs] a compelling reason why it has to be part of our beer line-up,” he said. “It needs to fit with our other beers to showcase beer attributes of maltiness, yeast character, hop profile, color, texture, etcetera.”

Once the test batches start, other questions can arise, added Wood

“How does the beer taste? Is it good enough to take public? What sets it apart from similar styles from other breweries,” he explained. “There’s so many variables that come into play when deciding whether or not to take a current seasonal, or small/limited edition batch into the annual ballgame.”

And, of course, along with all the beer-centric reasons for developing a beer, that brand has to sell in order to stay as a part of the lineup.

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