What 3 Sheeps Did to Find its Business Focus

When 3 Sheeps Brewing started out, Head Brewmaster and co-founder Grant Pauly admitted that he did not know exactly what kind of brewery the Sheboygan, Wisconsin brewery wanted to be.

“We tried a lot of things, many different styles, and I don’t think we found our focus until about five years in,” he recalled as the brewery announced its 10th-anniversary celebration recently. “That’s when we really committed to being a brewery that wanted to make everything well.”

The brewery started a Lager program at that time to be able to provide beers for the customers that love that style and Pauly said they also were able to really commit to a barrel program once they moved into a new space.

“So, instead of dipping our toes into a style, we took the time, ran the pilot batches, researched the styles and history behind them, and worked hard to be able to produce a wide variety of beer that would satisfy many of our Wisconsin customers and friends,” he explained.

The brewery anticipates continued growth in the future and further expanding and enhancing the brewing process, procedures, and equipment. Currently, the brewery is once again expanding the canning line and implementing more automation to help accelerate the process of distributing cases into the market. Additionally, the brewery is installing its first semi-automatic keg washer and filler to improve the level of keg quality and keep up with demand.

The annual 3 Sheeps anniversary ​party returned​ to the ​taproom this past weekend and the celebration ​was​ hosted throughout the 10,000 square foot indoor taproom and outdoors on the greenspaces and added tents.

​Pauly ​believes one of ​the brewery’s main successes comes from not focusing on one style, but trying to make them all. 

​”​We have great relationships throughout the state of Wisconsin in many different types of accounts with many different customer needs​,” he pointed out. “We try to make beer that will work for all of them, so whether they want a hoppy brew, a lighter ​Pilsner, tasty ​Amber, or something dark, we have them covered. 

READ MORE: The Ways 3 Sheeps Expanded its Portfolio But Was Able to Buck Trends

​”​We are also extremely focused when it comes to consistent quality. We’ve always had a nice lab setup that has grown as we’ve grown. The amount of daily testing and analysis that we do on each batch is significant. Our goal is to make sure that the ​six-pack of Chaos Pattern​ (Hazy IPA)​ always tastes the same and our customers can trust that.​”​

Of course, over the years not everything goes as planned. Especially with the twists and turns of the economy and customers’ purchasing habits.​

Early on, ​3 Sheeps had a seasonal program that was in ​four-packs of bottles. 

​”​These beers were typically higher ABV with strong elements to them​,” Pauly said. “All of these beers were ones that people loved, but we realized after a year that beers like these are great, but those of us that drink that style tend to want to also drink other styles. So, while they are great when they first come out, the repeat sales just are not there.​”

That realization helped ​the 3 Sheeps’ team refocus on how ​they looked at releases. 

​”​Now, we do specialty one-off releases extremely frequently, knowing that many of these will never be repeated​,” he said. “We have also adjusted our seasonal program into more drinkable beers, like Oktoberfest, Armchair Quarterback, and Full Spectrum. 

​”​Making these two moves let’s have fun making new styles and trying new ingredients constantly while still putting out really nice seasonals that someone could enjoy a few of.​”​

Photo​ courtesy 3 Sheeps

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