I am a beer girl. I'm all about about drinking my beers, trying out new ones, visiting breweries and trying out beers from different countries. I try keeping my Untappd as updated as possible (although it depends on how many beers I'm in amiright). Of course, I'm still fairly young and don't have a boatload of money, or a rich daddy to sponsor my beer travels to different countries, so I make do with the resources I can access, and I make do with the people I have. Visiting breweries is one of my favorite ways to try out new beers, and it's a pretty fun experience. Everyone is (usually) happy and friendly, and who wouldn't be when you're working around this amazing stuff. Curious about what others enjoy in breweries, I took a small survey of opinions about what people value in a craft brewery. Here are the best answers that I got!
"I love going to a brewery's tap room and finding that the staff are all knowledgeable and passionate about what they do. As someone who's passionate about craft beer, I really value having beer talk with like-minded folks, especially when I'm going to the brewery itself."
"Quality. This should be obvious but the first thing I value in a brewery is that they strive to make a great product. Not every brewery does that IMO.
Connection to the community. This may not matter to some but I like a brewery that shows they appreciate their community and the support they get from the locals. Support a local charity or cause. Stay connected and involved.
Passion. If someone is passionate about what they do it shows, and it's usually reflected in the quality of the product. When you talk to a brewer about their new beer and they are excited about what they've brewed you know they care a lot about what they are doing.
Offering new products. I like to try new beers and I think a lot of beer geeks are the same. Have a one-off series, do seasonal beers I look forward to, just keep it fresh. I have certain beers that I revisit a lot but offering something new always piques my interest."
"Variety. There are some craft breweries that make almost exclusively hoppy beers, there are some that make almost exclusively malty beers, there are some that use a few of the same ingredients over and over again in almost all of their beers. If I found a craft brewery that I like, but all of their beers are similar in style or flavors, I'm going to have no choice but to switch it up with different breweries because I'm always in the mood for something different. If there's a craft brewery that I like that has enough variety, then I'm going to be less likely to buy from a different one. Plus there would be something for everyone - I can bring my friends and not have to worry that they might not like the style of beers the brewery has because they'd have enough variety for everyone to be satisfied."
"Variety and consistent releases. I don't care if they have a tap room. It makes it easier if they do, but I'd prefer to line up for cans or growlers or whatever. I also really like how breweries like The Veil consistently try to make limited stuff that may or may not come out again. It's like an adventure each time I go out there and while I've been burned because of the occasional unfinished product, I ultimately prefer this to the hordes of brewers that do a decent job but have their stuff available all the time. I'm the kind of guy who tries to order things I haven't had before."
"I like it when a craft brewery can make some nuanced beers instead of just the 8+ ABV quintuple imperial black IPAs. If they can pull off good tasting and unique lighter flavored and hopped beers, you can bet your ass they can also make the big stuff and make it well."
"Certainly look for the styles to enjoy, the styles that are "Trendy" too (neipas, hop bombs, sours), and their ability to deliver on both accounts. Food is a huge plus, pairings are even better, and ambience is a nice icing. New breweries have a lot to prove and an IPA only bill isn't going to cut it. Want to see at least one stout, one saison, and one outlier ale in the first year. Hope to see barrels for stouts/porters AND sours within 2 years. That being said, all that goes out the window with good customer service and an "in it for the right reasons" mentality. If they are reactive to the local market, invested in the community, and creating great beer, they will get back the good karma they put forth."
Some values that make my list are differently a variety and a good staff that knows its beer. Being able to have a conversation with a staff member, and find out more about the beers and the brewery only makes the trip that much more enjoyable!
So, beer lovers, what is it that YOU value in a craft brewery?