Day 560

We spent most of Sales & Promotion making final plans for the Teaching Brewery tours at the college Open House this Saturday. Free beer. Free beer sausages. Free waffles (while they last). Come on down!

In Brewery Management, Mike Arnold warned us about a fraud making the rounds of small brewers and wineries. Some guy phones up and wants to buy $3000 of beer for a family reunion. He uses his credit card to pay for it, then has a delivery truck come by and pick up the beer the same day. Anywhere from a few hours to a few days later, the brewery gets a call from VISA that the real owner of the credit card has just discovered it has been stolen. VISA cancels the transaction and the brewer is out $3000.

Stealing a man’s identity is one thing. But stealing his beer? That’s beyond the pale.

Mike went on to talk about a grab bag of stuff today, including what type of sales rep to hire, depending on where the majority of your sales are going to be. If all your beer is going to the LCBO, you need one kind of rep–probably wearing a suit and tie. If you’re selling to bars, you probably want someone young and hip.

He also covered the basic types of insurance you need, and some others you might want, including basic commercial fire and theft, liability, key man, vehicle, liquor liability, employee practices, non-owned auto, indemnification for third parties, utility interruption, boiler & machinery, employee dishonesty, etc.

Which brought up “when things go wrong”. Your brewery sells the Beer Store $250,000 worth of beer, you use the money to pay your bills, then you find out your beer has gone bad. A disgruntled employee deliberately opens the drains on all the fermenters. Someone sues you. The landlord decides your grain silo is attracting mice and arbitrarily removes your grain mill. A restaurant owing you $30,000 goes out of business.

The most import thing is probably, in the words of Douglas Adams, “Don’t Panic.”

Look at the problem, look at solutions, draw up a plan, execute the plan.

My current problem is that I am thirsty. I believe have a plan.

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