Is There a Right and a Wrong Here?
Posted on 7/22/2012 by Brew's Your Daddy
I read an article a while back on CNBC.com that was discussing the growth of craft beer around the country. In general terms, it discussed the different approaches breweries are taking to meet the increasing demand for their products. The original article can be found at:

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And after reading it, I couldn't help but place myself in the shoes of a brewer and ask myself ''What would I do?''. I am sure it is a dream of all breweries to have such a constant demand for their products that they are having to deal with it as a ''problem that needs to be addressed''. But what do you do? Do you build more facilities and continue to expand in order to meet the demands of your market, while at the same time possibly reaching more customers that you wouldn't have been able to otherwise? No one could blame you if you did. On the surface it is simply the next step in a supply and demand market. However, you then run the risk of getting labeled as one of those breweries who have flooded the market with their product to the point of saturation, and in turn be looked at as nothing more than a business making a money grab. If craft beer is truly a passion of you and your brewery, this is a label you fight tooth and nail to avoid.

Then I looked at the other side of the coin. What if you decide to pull out of some markets? What if you say ''We cannot continue to meet the demand of all of our customers in all of the markets we are in. We have no choice but to pull out of some of them and focus our efforts on a more concentrated consumer base.'' You instantly alienate a part of your fan base, and reduce the number of people who can purchase your product in general. Is that bad business, or a quality based decision? It lowers the stress of meeting higher production numbers, which in turn allows you to focus on a smaller group needing to be satisfied, as well as increases quality control and output. In ways, it seems to me that you are showing more of a dedication to your product by choosing to focus, rather than chase the almighty dollar.

So who is right? Does either decision even qualify as wrong? I see pros and cons in both, so I don't feel that any brewery that has reached the point of needing to make one of these choices is wrong, regardless of which direction they go. But what do you think? What would you do if faced with the same decision?

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