In an effort to help retailers in New Zealand to purchase a good selection of craft beers I am working on the document below. Would love to have any suggestions or input. Once it has been polished it will be released to the Liquor Trade.
Why do this? recently I have had a number of bars bitching at me about some "craft beers" they have stocked which people try once and hate on, then they have to try and sell the rest of it out. This also has the effect on new and potential craft beer drinkers not adventuring outside their comfort zone again because they got burned.
So hook in to it I want to see your comments. If first time craft beer drinkers have an awesome experience every time, they will buy again, and there will be more demand for more craft beer.
Craft Beer of New Zealand
Craft Beer made in New Zealand has all of a sudden become very interesting and many bar owners and liquor retailers are looking at providing a selection of what is available.
With 50 small breweries in New Zealand, and many making on average 5 beers each, this means there are potentially 250 beers you could add to your fridge. In most cases you will not have room for more then 6 or 12 new beers.
Here are some quick tips to getting a quality selection, and avoiding making a bad choice?
1. Award Winning Beers
Keep it simple. Stick with beers that have won awards. See www.brewnz.co.nz
for latest results. So much choice, so little fridge space. (you need to note that of the 200+ entries from the Beer Awards only a third are worthy of medals, hence there are some problematic and poor quality beers out there)
2. Reputation for Quality
Sometimes you might be wiser to actually look at beers that have a consistent record of winning awards, or looking at the track record of a brewery and its ability to win awards for all its beers. Some brewers may get lucky once and ride on that win for 17 years.
3. Beers of Interest
Many craft breweries are make seasonal specials and interesting beers. Watch out for barrel aged beers, sour beers, fruit beers, and other strange ingredients. This definitely creates interest, trial and discussion about the diversity of beer.
4. Change is Good
To keep your customers interested and to always be fine tuning your selection, a good practice is to drop a couple of your slower moving beers and to try out a couple of new one. You might end up stocking your new biggest seller.
5. Support Your Local Brewery
Fresh beer is the best. Your local brewery is only going to prosper and improve their quality and selection with your support.