Day 546

The college is having an Open House on Saturday, March 23–yes, you’re all invited–and as a Sales & Promotion assignment, the entire second-year class is responsible for planning events at the Teaching Brewery: educating the visitors, conducting brewery tours, and (of course) serving free samples of our student beers. (My own contribution will be a 20-litre cask of black jalapeno IPA, yes the one I brewed up just before Reading Week.)

So we spent the entire class going over plans for the event.

In Brewery Management, Mike Arnold used annualized data from The Beer Store to show us that macro beer from the Big Boys climbed during the summer time–as you would expect–with huge spikes marking the four summer long weekends, and another smaller spike at Christmas. Mike then shared sales data from his own brewery, Trafalgar, which showed that summer was actually kind of quiet, while the feast days–Easter, Thanksgiving, and especially Christmas, were the hot times of the year for him. We need to start thinking about sales patterns for our own breweries and how to anticipate when our beer will be selling well–and when it won’t.

That being said, the brewery I worked at last summer was brewing and packaging beer flat out during the hot weather–no sign of a summer slowdown. Other students working at other breweries reported the same thing. It’s possible that Trafalgar’s summer sales dip is atypical for the craft brewing industry.

Mike also brought up an intriguing idea–Canada is a pretty cold place in the winter, so why aren’t we using some of that free cold air to keep our beer cold, rather than heating up the inside of the entire brewery, then using glycol (and energy) to cool off the beer fridge?

Mike also took us through the permits we will need from three levels of government in order to open a brewery. We have actually been through these in both Beer Industry and Sales & Promotion, but it was useful to get the information reinforced from another point of view.


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