The 2 Questions Calidad Needed to Ask When Adding A Contracting Partner

Josh Zad has seen the rapid growth and a need for additional capacity for his Calidad beer, a lifestyle brand he created in the spring of 2019, so he has been busy during this pandemic-plagued 2020 in establishing a new brewing partner and expansion of territory outside of California.

The founder and creative director, Zad, said he searched ‘high and low’ before partnering with Denver’s Sleeping Giant as a new manufacturer. The process, he said, meant having a list of key questions and needs to ask any partner. It’s a great plan for any brewery looking to gain production volume by working with a contracted partner.

“The most important questions we needed to consider were: 1) can this brewery make our beer exactly how we envisioned it, and 2) do they have the right tools in place to scale up alongside us,” Zad said.

A few specific areas that Calidad looked at when choosing were capacity, QA/QC, staff, innovation capabilities, logistics, and the ability to control costs.

“It was also important that our new brewing partner understand the vision for the future of Calidad and could guarantee they were ready for everything we have in the pipeline,” Zad said of the Mexican-style Lager brand. “With so many great breweries out there, we needed to be confident that whoever we chose had the ability to build upon our solid foundation and take us to the next level, consistently delivering quality beer day in and day out.”

Zad said Calidad’s transition into Colorado was seamless due to the incredible QA/QC procedures Sleeping Giant has in place.

“They were also able to deconstruct our existing recipe and scale it up for larger batches,” he said. For each batch, Sleeping Giant runs checks to ensure Calidad hits all necessary benchmarks, keeping a running log of key metrics and sharing with the Calidad team where each batch falls.

“With an expert staff in place and constant communication with our team in Santa Barbara, Sleeping Giant has flawlessly kept our beer consistent and tasting exactly how we like it from Day One,” Zad said.

Being a single SKU brand has been a blessing in disguise this year​, Zad noted.

“While other brands have had to juggle limited releases and seasonals, we were able to put all our focus into one hero product and hammer away at it​,” he said. ​Calidad introduced ​a larger 12-pack format, which aligned with​ the​ current consumer trend of buying in bulk​.

​​In order to continue thriving​, Zad said Calidad has​ had to leverage ​its strong digital marketing abilities and shift to an off-premise retail strategy, focusing on growing ​its presence in major chains and securing high-traffic retail displays.

​”​If there’s one thing we’ve learned, it’s that there is no one-size-fits-all solution for navigating through this pandemic​,” he said. “As a team, we’ve been all-hands-on-deck since March and constantly at the ready to pivot as new challenges arise.​”​

​Coming Soon: Strategies Created by Calidad for Marketing Away From Home

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  1. Pingback: A Crucial Step When Expanding into New Markets - Brewer Magazine

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