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Top 11 Lessons Building A Brewery And Navigating The Valley Of Death (Part 2 Of 2)

We learned to be creative with our beer releases. Earlier, we tried releasing only weird and wonderful beers. The problem was that they didn’t really translate into best sellers. We were producing beers that people liked, but we weren’t really producing generic styles like pale ales and IPAs.


Our Beach House is a great example of our interpretation of the farmhouse/saison style. We dry hopped it with local hops and turned it into a more drinkable beer for our climate. It was a great beer that actually won the Belgian-style beer championship at Ebbas, but it was never a best seller.


Once we introduced the pale ale and IPA, our sales skyrocketed. By far our biggest seller was the pale ale and IPA, and we’ve divided our core product into limited release beers. 

Our limited releases have made us very creative and experimental, but the core series beers are all just the best examples of how we balance beers in this specific, well-known style. As a result, they sell very well.
There’s a lot of room for creativity in designing beer cans and releasing beer styles outside of the core series. Our limited monthly releases are usually somewhere between the core series beers 

and the barroom releases in terms navigating of quirky and easy-going can designs. Our restaurant releases have beer styles and can designs.

If you look at our social media channels, you’d be forgiven for thinking that we primarily sell crazy beers. But the truth is, we sell 80% of our core line, 10% of our monthly limited editions, and about 10% of our releases limited to taproom.

7. The restaurant is great!

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We knew this before we opened the brewery, and it probably goes without saying, but the restaurant is great. The obvious reason is the money you make on the beer. When we calculate the cost of the beer, we calculate the profit for us, 

then we project the distributor’s profit and come navigating up with some sort of RRP. with a restaurant, we can make a lot of profit at the same time. Of course, there are additional costs associated with owning a restaurant, especially with staff, rent, service, etc., but the benefit is more than just a little extra profit.


Our restaurants have been the spiritual home of our navigating ever-expanding brand. Our company has grown from the restaurant to the outside. In the early days, locals in Burley loved the restaurant at our headquarters because of the great beer and great experience.

 That love spread navigating to the surrounding venues. Before long, we had a very solid wholesale operation in the south end of the Gold Coast. But we didn’t have much land in the north end of the Gold Coast. That is, until we built the Black Hops II and BHII restaurants. 

Once we did that, we noticed the same thing happening in the north end. That culture grew from the restaurants to the surrounding bars and bottle stores. The navigating restaurants became the spiritual home of the brand and the brand value went far beyond the walls of the restaurant.

For customers and employees alike, our restaurants are a great meeting place, a place to celebrate victories (like the GABS Hotest 100 countdown), a central place to manage limited beer releases, and they bring a buzz and warmth to the brewery that otherwise wouldn’t exist. 

It’s hard to imagine building navigating a brand that employees and customers love without a restaurant. It’s been done, but it’s very rare. I recommend investing in the quality of service, product, design and general service of the restaurant, an investment that will pay off in many navigating less obvious ways.

8. Never stop building community

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When you’ve been focused on making the product, internal operations, marketing and finances, and the day-to-day challenges of running a brewery, it’s easy to forget that if you don’t have a strong base of customers and navigating community members, you simply won’t have a brewery.


From our first round of crowdfunding, our brewery has been built from the community outward. Here are some of the things we have done and continue to do to keep this navigating trend going.


Create wonderful experiences at restaurants through quality products, a wide variety of new beers, great service and education.


Our tour was the pinnacle in terms of education, we spent 1.5 hours with people taking them on a tour of Stout II, giving them the whole stout experience.


Having local musicians and navigating food trucks go to restaurants is another cool way to get into local life. Plus, it helps build community between the business owners, the brewery and the customers.


We do things like employee anniversary beers, which is something our restaurant customers love because they know all the employees.


Our alpha team (investors) will taste the product at night, launch limited navigating edition products, and brew the beer during the day. We even had a one-day beer festival for a handful of our first restaurant customers.
Outside of the restaurant, 

we are committed to being a good contributor to the local community, donating to charities, making kegs of Karma, and helping with events like beach cleanups through our community projects.


Online, we take it a step further and have a super engaged crowd who are constantly and directly involved with the brand through our social media channels, especially through our Facebook group. The beers we brew are crafted in-house, we offer exclusive merch to group members,

 and the group’s founders and team are always in close contact with our most passionate community members whenever possible.
Our Stout Reserve Homebrew Club and Competition is another example of how we are attracting a very core group of enthusiastic people.
We also strive to go out and collaborate with other brewers to be a good and active member of the craft beer community.
We think our great local community is a big part of our brand and is understood and accepted in bars and bottle stores across the country. 

People really like Black Hops and we think it all starts with building good relationships with our closest and best supporters. Word of mouth continues to be a very powerful way to build a brand.