Adapt and Adjust: Goals As Your Brewery Grows

Creating a new beer can sometimes be about trial and error. So can developing goals in your brewery’s business.

Aiming at a goal is the start, connecting on it is another. It is a skill that many breweries continually create and reform as their business grows.

For Columbus, Ohio’s Land-Grant Brewing its latest goal is to work on better penetration and shelf placements, along with more SKUs in retail.

“We have to tackle that challenge more,” said co-founder Quintin Jessee. “Our IRI data is positive, so that helps. That’s the top of the list, getting better placements. We want to see how much more we can penetrate off-premise.”

Jessee said that with Ohio being one of the largest craft beer markets in the country and Columbus being in the center, it just made sense for Land-Grant to build from there, then out.

“The Columbus market when we entered was under served so we got in at the right time,” he said.

Mark Richards, the brewery’s Director of Operations said that means ‘playing the game,’ with larger retailers.

“Kroger is the biggest one, their process of approval is a little more challenging to navigate,” he admitted. “Most are very welcoming with open arms.”

Tom Davis of Thomas Creek said the brewery made it a goal to ‘own Main Street in our backyard.’

“We feel we have done that,” he said.

Another goal that the brewery set for 2017, but they were unable to connect with was adding to their list of contracted partners.

“This year we have many prospects and are open for a few more,” he said. “Focusing on our on brand will always come first, but we take the same pride and care when crafting any of our contracts.”

Paul Arney, the founder of The Ale Apothecary in Bend, Oregon said for his new farmhouse brewery, being staffed to a level where they could really take care of everything was a key.

“We are almost there,” he said!

He was able to hire the tasting room staff and opened that venture in in May of 2017 while also bringing on cellarman Hans Schopen full time along with his wife Kristen being able to work in the taproom as well

“It is extremely important for our staff not only to be educated, but to really be part of our overall business,” Arney said of his staff of half a dozen. “We have lots of discussions about what we are doing and, of course, tastings. We are looking into getting them involved in the cicerone project and our own sensory program.”

Sometimes in hiring, Richards notes that a brewery may be looking for expertise, but most importantly, you want enthusiasm.

“A passion to carry the torch and want to do it. You need people with drive,” he said.

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