The 5 Types of People That A Brewpub Needs To Help Educate Staff

The elements of combining a restaurant and a brewery for a brewpub means that making sure education through the whole staff, from the brew team to servers, is vital.

Larry Chase, the Brewmaster at Standing Stone Brewing in Ashland, Oregon, expounded on the types of people that need to be involved in the process of furthering beer education among staff members at the 2017 Craft Brewers Conference in Washington D.C.

Chase started “beer huddles” for the service staff members in 2012 at Standing Stone and he said that education helped further sales, the best the brewpub ever had.

“It’s us just gathering together, decided what we are doing for that shift,” he said of the huddles, likening it to what a football team does. “It’s a brief meeting. The service staff gets to be excited to be a part of the brewery.”

Limiting topics to one per week, but meeting with every AM server before the shift began every day meant that each server heard the same message at least three times that week. And repetition breeds understanding.

“Andy, our bartender, had been there longer than I had,” Chase explained. “He said he was excited because a customer had a question that was the same thing we had talked about with the staff at the shift meeting last week. The positivity of work increases with this knowledge.”

StandingsStoneLarry 800x300Chase narrowed down the parts of the staff that need to be involved in furthering the knowledge:

Owners: They have to buy into it and make it important, Chase said. “They are the first people that have to be involved,” he said. “They don’t have to be there to make it happen, but they have to support the commitment.”

Brew Team: “You are the beer face of the company and the most excited about beer,” Chase said. “You can help with the knowledge and the excitement.”

Managers: “You have to make it happen day to day with the staff,” he said. “Work with the brew team to make it happen.”

Front of the house staff: They are the face to the public and have to know this stuff to interact with customers.

Back of the house staff: They need to be involved to help craft beer menus and work with the kitchen staff for pairings with the brewery beer, be it in dishes or as complements to each meal. “In a brewpub environment we have a wonderful opportunity to do things with beer and food,” Chase said. “Getting the back involved to talk beer on some levels brings them into the team as a whole.”

So what do these five types of people add up to in a brewpub?

“Everyone,” Chase said. “Everyone needs to be on board and committed.”

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