We live and die by our beer. I know that's not a new sentiment, particularly in the craft beer world. But it is even more poignant for a new, young brewery like ourselves.
An early batch of beer that isn't quite up to snuff can ruin your reputation in the local market. More often than not, those early supporters will likely become ambassadors for your brand. Proud to wear their local brewery as a badge of honour. But only if your beer is good.
If not? well...
Which is why we have no issue dumping a beer if it doesn't match with what we were looking for. And in all honesty, we've had to do that already. More times than we'd like to admit.
We've dumped 4 entire batches of beer (over 2000L) in the last 12 months. Plus a bunch of kegs from an early batch that we decided to pull from the market and issue a credit to all existing customers.
It's not easy to do that. It decimates your cashflow, ruins your production schedule and feels like taking two steps back when you've barely taken a step forward. But we believe it is the right thing to do. Not just for our customer, but also us as a business in the long term.
Now, it should be worth noting that we fully expect the number of dumped batches to dramatically go down now that we are much more comfortable with our brewing process and we've successfully replicated our recipes while maintaining quality and consistency between batches.
And that's the optimal goal: consistency. You want to be able to guarantee that a glass from one batch will taste the same as another batch, and that's something the customer should rightfully expect when paying for a product. But in order to continue that consistency, you need to be willing to dump a beer that isn't quite right.