​Why Berryessa’s Diverse Portfolio Helps Farmers & Consumers​

It was an interesting point that Berryessa‘s Lori Nicolini brought to the surface during a chat of a wide arrangement of beers that the Sacramento-area brewery has on tap.

Being diverse for a lot of different drinkers is important, but it’s also important to use a variety of hops and grains to help maintain the supply chain. If a brewery focuses on cutting-edge hops and stops buying those older kinds, hop growers stop harvesting them instead of planting new crops. That means older hops, and in the same vein — grains, can be tossed to the wayside and some styles could shrink into history. The same could be said with replacing a beer handle with a seltzer tap.

​So a beer like Berryessa’s Whippersnapper English Mild Brown —​ ​which is a multi-award-winning beer that is one of ​the brewery’s most popular ​brands ​at the taproom —​ helps in that aspect said Nicolini, a co-founder of the company.​

​”I think that ​if you walk into a brewery​ ​and ​it’s all ​seltzer​ [and IPAs], ​I want to say their CFO is running the company​,” she said, indicating that monetary metrics could be dictating what is being made.

​”It’s very short-sighted, in my opinion.​”

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Nicolini said if you really look at the holistic​ side and the ​craft beer ​business as a whole, it might not be the most money for tomorrow, but it’s ​going to be the most for 40 years from now.

​”​Just keeping that diversity is important​,” she said. The brewery, located 30 miles west of Sacramento in Winters, California, celebrates classic styles along with newer brands.

​”It’s not only important for customers to be able to taste different​ beer, but as I said, it’s important for those ingredients to still be there​,” she said. ​”​Because if nobody’s buying those ingredients, the farmers aren’t going to grow them. And we’ve already found that with some of our favorite hops too.​”

​Whippersnapper is an interesting beer for the brand. Although the sales staff can’t find much traction in off-premise sales, it is a top seller in the taproom. That shows that consumers may want to try it and enjoy a beer in a certain setting.

“It’s one of those ​beers, we feel really important to keep on, just to keep our beer offerings diverse,” Nicolini said of the 4% ABV creation that husband Chris Miller came up with during previous brewing stops in his career. “It’s just a great beer that pairs well with everybody or with everything.”

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