Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the craft brewery industry was steadily growing. Thanks largely to taprooms, the industry found more space to expand and grow. These businesses are more concerned about their local market than the distribution of their craft beers to bigger bars, restaurants, and pubs. The locals are only too happy to support these taprooms. Over the past few years, they started focusing more on local microbreweries than mainstream beers they’ve grown accustomed to when they were growing up.
The number of these small and local breweries has increased in the past decade. Thousands have started their own distilleries, fueled by the fact that there is more interest in craft beers than ever before. Then, the pandemic happened. Many local taprooms started closing their doors a few weeks after the lockdown. Some hope they can come back when the economy is stronger, while many still clash to market loyalty and awareness, a bit of savings, and civic support. Locals have made it a point to try to support small businesses that are about to close down.
But what should the remaining microbreweries do now that the new normal is about to commence? As the governments’ vaccination programs roll on, economies are reopening, and people are going back to their jobs. If you want to survive in this industry, that will rebound for sure; you have to be at the front of the battle.
Shift to Quality
The market, of course, has drastically changed. Even if it wants to support your business, they need to know that you have made some changes in the quality of your products and services. Money is tight, so if they spend it, they want to make sure they are spending it on the right business. Consumers are more concerned now about the quality of the craft beers they purchase more than at any other time in the past decade.
Find better quality beers. Australian Galaxy hops are the rarest and most in-demand variety of the citrusy, fruity aroma and flavor of hops. The Galaxy hops are fast becoming the most internationally recognized Australian flavor hop. You should get your hands on this and other rare hops in the world of craft beer. The more options and the rarer those options are, the most likely consumers will give their all-out support to your local brewery.
People are spending less time and money on bars and taprooms. That means that if they are going to buy, they’d only want the best. If they are going to drink the craft beer in their homes and not in pubs where they can get a change of environment, then it better be made from the best hops in the world.
Adapt to the New Normal
No one is sure what the new normal will look like for the craft beer industry. What we are sure of is that things won’t be like the pre-pandemic days. Bargoers will not be mingling with each other, rubbing elbows and shouting at each other’s faces to be heard over the loud music. Taprooms will still be relatively empty and quiet except for a few patrons. Even if the entire population gets vaccinated against the coronavirus, the trauma and fear of the last year will go on.
As a result, businesses must learn to adapt to the idea of the new normal—that even with protection against the virus, people cannot spend extended hours with their loved ones outdoors. They will most likely want to stay in an alfresco area than be trapped with strangers indoors. Plus, some will still want to take their craft beers to go. So, tear down those walls, open the doors and windows, and move your operations outside.
You have to start canning and selling beers that way. Partnering with delivery services is also a must since some people will still prefer to stay at home. Make sure your taprooms have well-sanitized handwashing areas and reminders to patrons to practice distancing as much as they can. Showing that you know things have changed will shift the new normal more seamlessly for everyone—the business and its customers.
The craft beer industry is not alone in the challenges they face right now. More industries are on the verge of collapse. The almost personal relationships that taprooms have with their patrons actually saved the craft beer industry from oblivion. These relationships are what held the industry together, and that customer-centric approach to business will be what ultimately brings the industry to the new normal.