Craft beer producers, craft beer lovers (and haters) alike………..
We’re going to be blogging a lot more from now on – raise a few issues and create a little bit (lot) of beer chat.
So, here’s the first that’s meant to engage rather than tell……..let me know what you think, have your say.
How hard is it to brew craft beer?
As always, we were doing our usual rounds of getting in touch with bars to see if they wanted to take some of our amazing tasting beers for them to put on their taps and share with their very own band or craft beer loving warriors. After all, isn’t that the idea of being a craft brewer? Create & Share? One of the reasons we opened the first of our very own BEERHOUSES in Manchester recently was so we could do just that. We love to champion other craft beer brewers, local or further afield…….this is what its all about isn’t it? Being part of, and creating something that educates and enlightens the masses to beers that are full of flavour and variety.
So, one particular day of calling our comrades we were met with two separate responses, repsonses we’d not encountered before – here they are
‘Although your beers taste really great, they’re just a little safe’
‘Ah, you’re from where? SEVEN BRO7HERS, I’m not sure we’re allowed to sell your beers – you’re the competition’
At first I just shrugged them off – steadfast in that what we are doing at SEVEN BRO7HERS is different to what other brewers are doing right now – different, inclusive & open …….being #CLEARWITHBEER maybe? Also I wasn’t going to be tainted and deterred from inviting other Craft Brewers to sell their wares in our BEERHOUSE. But, more recently it began to niggle a little. It led me to wonder if we were missing a trick? Are our beers too safe? Do they need something ‘extra’?
It got me thinking further – was our decision to create a branding that is clean, informative and easy to understand an issue? Was the decision to embark upon our 1st-phase programme of creating and perfecting a core range of moderate ABV ‘accessible’ beers, instead of different ‘rocket fuelled’ offerings every time we brew from the outset, a mistake? Should we just stick to providing only our beers in our BEERHOUSE?
Being part of a ever-changing, fast, unpredictable industry there’s never a dull moment, so this niggle lost its importance in my day to day list of things to do and think about. Things like – negotiate the recent purchase of our new brewhouse and FV’s, or our decision to buy our new canning line and bottling line, the recruitment of another brewer to join our team, or the move to larger premises and also the constant issues of making sure the team running our BEERHOUSE are happy in their work. However, every other day, that niggle would come back to me, still there chipping away at me. After weeks of being niggled at I decided to do something about it. I decided to write about it and get it off my chest.
So what does safe mean?
Does it mean tasteless beer? Does it mean boring branding? Or does it mean the competition, don’t like, the competition? Maybe all those things and more?
The thing is, what those little, mainly irrelevant comments actually made me realise is that what we do here at SEVEN BRO7HERS is far from boring, safe or tasteless. It’s actually the opposite. Over the last two years we may not have brewed a different beer every day, or have abstract little doodles on our branding, or even have a barrel aged programme on the go (yet). No, we brew rock solid craft beer consistently the same – time after time, day after day. Our band of craft beer warriors know what to expect from our beers with every single 1/3, 2/3, pint, growler and tanker full they ask for and that is delicious, balanced Craft Beer.
Consistency in beer is one of the THE hardest things to achieve. So many different characteristcs fight against you in every brew, so geting your beers to taste the same as the last is an incredibly difficult skill. (something I’ll be writing about a lot more in the coming weeks – my brother Greg is performing miracles. He’s totally self taught and a genius in producing brilliantly consistent, balanced craft beer)
Staying resolute on our decision to create branding that bucks the trend and doesn’t conform to a male dominated environment. Giving people a clear understanding of what the liquid will taste like before they even engage the bartender is something we believe in passionately. We want Craft beer to be accessible, not scary.
This isn’t to say we wont be producing craft beers that are a little more abstract. We have a Honeydew melon DIPA (8% abv) in the making (the first of our JACKED-UP line up)…..a Red-sour is on its way too (Part of our SOURS line up)…..we have also just produced 12 different brown ale craft cask beers made exclusively for our BEERHOUSE in Manchester.
Maybe this is what some consider to be a true craft brewer? I don’t know, but the point here is that there are different ways to establish yourself as a brewer. Whether that’s producing a new and wildly different beer every brew, or initially producing a set of core beers that are consistent every single time.
Any approach a brewery takes is as good as the other. Sharing the craft with the beer loving public and being there for each other is what will make us stronger. Producing craft beer, pushing at the boundaries we’ve had surrounding us over decades is something that should bring us together. Excluding each other is just playing in to the hands of those who would rather we all just faded away like a bad smell.
If you’re a Craft Beer drinker or a Craft beer maker from near or far, get in touch, leave a comment below, we’d love to hear from you. let us know what you want to drink and we’ll try and get it in our BEERHOUSE. Let us know if you’d like us to trial your beers in our BEERHOUSE and we’ll share it………….it’s what we’re here for…………the LOVE of Craft Beer