Enough is Enough!
Let me get this straight… You spend days upon days setting up your brewery and endless late nights creating the perfect beer. You’ve emptied your bank account and remortgaged your house to live the dream. After years of planning, stressing and wondering why the hell you’re opening a brewery. Buuuuuut… You can’t spend the time to make sure your servers know the difference between an Ale and a Lager? This is a Trump level mistake gang! If you don’t have an active Beer Knowledge / Education Program in your tasting room, you are doing a disservice to your patrons and worse yet – leaving money on the table.
This is not hard. When I was a Tasting Room Manager (albeit briefly) I made damn sure that anyone talking to a customer could explain each style of beer on tap, the story behind it and the ABV. But before all that went down. Right at the gates, I hired people that were passionate about craft beer. Passionate people grab on to beer facts and are more than happy to geek out about ABV, IBU, and SRM. This is the kind of person you want behind the counter in your tasting room.
Lately, I have been to waaaaay too many tasting rooms where the servers can’t answer a simple question about the beer or the brewery! One time, I even had the server tell me that they didn’t even like beer! What the actual funk man?!? Who in their right mind would hire someone to serve beer and advocate their product if they don’t even like the product? That is one hell of a boneheaded move. Everyone who works in your organization should be knowledgeable advocates for your brand. It all starts with your beer and the funny thing is that it’s not hard to do!
Long story short…
There’s a simple thing that you as a brewery owner, tasting room manager or employee of a brewery, in general, should do. Educate your people. Your customers will thank you! There is nothing people enjoy more than being served your amazing product and learning something in the process. There are a few ways you can do this that are relatively inexpensive:
- Hire right, only bring people that love craft beer into your fold. There a lot of them out there and they want to work for you today!
- Once per week, have a little company tasting. Talk about your new products, talk about the beer styles you make and make sure everyone knows your story
- Set up a beer school for your staff – Beer Nerds love to talk about beer – get your staff to educate each other about beer and what they’ve learned recently. You’d be surprised how smart some people can be.
- Give them a test! Make it fun, but a test is a good way to gauge how on track your staff is with their product knowledge
I’m sure there are many other ways to do this, but these are four that I have seen used effectively. For a start, check out craftbeer.com’s beer guide. It’s a great source of general beer info and worth directing any new employee to.
What ways have you seen Breweries make sure that their staff’s knowledge is up to snuff?