Should Your Brewery Start a Seasonal Beer Program?

A line of different draft beers being filled from the tap on a bar. Take a minute to think. How many seasonal beers do you see every year during the holiday season? It seems like the number just continues to grow and grow. This is because these inspired flavors often rekindle memories of the fall and winter seasons for whoever indulges in them.

But regardless of the emotions they bring about, the fact is that seasonal beers sell. Did you know that nearly 20 percent of craft brewer sales are seasonal beers? Making a new product line is a big deal. There’s so much to consider. Do you have the equipment to handle it? Enough employees? Do you have the capital to get your seasonal beer idea off the ground?

With all that running through your head, you can’t help but think, “should your brewery start a seasonal beer program?” In this post, we’re going to help you find the right answer for your business. Keep reading to learn more about all the factors that can help you make the best call for your brewery.

Take a Look at Your Equipment and Process

Before we dive into some of the reasons why it could benefit your brewery to start a seasonal beer program, you need to look at your equipment. After all, even the best seasonal beer can’t make it past the production process without the right support. Start by doing an audit of your current equipment. Here are some of the questions you’re looking to answer:

• How many different beer skews can you produce?
• Is there any equipment that would need to be replaced before brewing a new beer?
• How does a new beer affect your current production schedule?
• Would adding new equipment help?
• If so, what kind of brewery equipment would you need?
• Are you in need of any microbrewery equipment?
• Would you have to hire additional staff?

Once you have these answers, you’ll have a better grasp of costs and changes you’ll need to make. One of the biggest costs comes with getting new equipment. But that shouldn’t stop you. Companies like Zwirner Equipment offer professionally reconditioned brewery equipment. It’s a great cost-effective option for breweries looking to expand their production.

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Benefits of Seasonal Beer Programs

Seasonal Beer Programs Can Boost Your Revenue

Since one of the main factors of adding a seasonal beer program is cost, let’s take a look at the revenue boost they can give your business. Seasonal beer is currently outpacing IPAs in terms of revenue growth on a year-to-year basis. This growth tells us a couple important things. First, that seasonal beer isn’t just a passing fad. Steady growth in sales means that more and more consumers will expect breweries to provide seasonal beer options.

The second fact comes down to how this data affects your current offerings. As seasonal beer becomes more popular, it means that other beer segments like IPAs, Pale Ales and Variety options are losing market share. From a revenue perspective, it could make sense to pause your lowest performing brew and replace it with a new seasonal offering.

Seasonal Products are Highly Anticipated Each Year

The appeal of seasonal products doesn’t stop at beer. Consumers these days are almost trained to expect seasonal products. From coffee to even dish soap, seasonal products have big time consumer appeal. But what does this mean for breweries? Seasonal beer gives you the chance to experiment and innovate within your current offerings.

Another benefit is seasonal beer is more approachable for the average consumer. Think of your seasonal beer as an easy entry point for consumers to become fans of your brand. And many beer drinkers make their purchase decisions based on occasions. For example, if you’re invited to a backyard barbecue in the summer, what beer would you be more likely to bring? Something that is available year-round? Or an exclusive seasonal summer beer made by your favorite brewer? The same applies for the holiday season!

Timing and Beer Management

There’s no question that a pillar of beer management is timing. One of the great things about seasonal beer is that the timing remains fixed. Unlike other industries like farming where their seasonality can’t be controlled, breweries can expect a level of consistency. Let’s walk through a quick example of seasonal beer timing.

You’re making a holiday beer. You determine that you’ll need to start brewing two months before the season starts. Since the holiday season starts at the same time every year, you’ll have minimal changes to your process each year. Given how solid the timeline is, you’ll be able to find efficiencies in your production every year. It will streamline your process and can help make your seasonal beer more profitable as time goes on.

You Should Consider Starting a Seasonal Beer Program

While every brewery is different, the benefits of having a seasonal beer program can far outweigh the initial costs. What are you waiting for? It’s time to get innovative and create a new great tasting seasonal beer for your customers!

Zwirner Offers Cost Effective Brewery and Microbrewery Equipment for Your Business

If you’re looking to start making a seasonal beer or have interest in increasing your production, we can help you offset some of the upfront cost. At Zwirner Equipment, we offer quality reconditioned brewery equipment backed by over 30 years of experience.

Take a look at our current inventory, as we’re always adding new equipment. And if your brewery needs a custom solution, we’ve got you covered. Our expert team is happy to discuss your business needs and find the best solution. Contact us today to get started.

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