Thursday, July 24, 2008

Beeronomics: The Oregon Brewers Festival

Just a quick note about the Oregon Brewers Festival and economics.  If you are a brewery, what beer do you send?  Do you try and make a splash with a new concoction, or send a tried and true favorite?  The costs and benefits of both are pretty clear.  My first thoughts are that if you are an established brewery like, say, Rogue, the incentives are to try and make a new exciting brew and try and solidify a reputation for interesting beers.  But if you are small and relatively unknown like, say, Ninkasi, the incentives are probably to send a tried and true beer that people will encounter on tap and in stores and might just have again and again.   

Your thoughts? 


Matt said...

I'd say to go with something that folks will come back for again and again. While I'm all for innovation, it's in consistent repetition that I think brewers' (and other craftspeople's) talents really shine.

Jeff Alworth said...

To parse it just a bit more, you could frame the question this way: are you trying to promote a beer or a brewery. Many local breweries send beers they brewed specially for the event. Obviously, it's the brewery's name they're planting in people's heads. Others, for example Bison Chocolate Stout, are trying to promote beers that are available but unkown in the Portland market.

This isn't a perfect example, but many people who go to the fest know the beer Pliny the Elder. I suspect far fewer know it's brewed by Russian River.

You can see benefits and risks in both strategies.