While some of the biggest brands in the world are struggling to stay on float in a dynamic and rapid-changing market, small companies are making bigger numbers by the day. With just some basic knowledge, YouTube and some very basic ingredients that are now available everywhere, anyone can start doing his or her own beer at home. This makes the number of producers increase by the thousands and the options available too. Read on to understand what do big companies have to lose and what small brands can do better.
Attention To Detail
Just like there are some small brewers doing crazy stuff like ancient Peruvian beer from the Wari Empire, others are focusing on perfecting traditional recipes to come up with even better IPAs, stouts, etcetera. For big brewers that have standardized processes, human resources end up being the definitive factor. For small breweries, that have limited personnel, it is very likely that two or three people can take care of the entire process themselves. Is it better or worse for the creation of the beer that the same person follows the scheme? In my experience, it is far better. Smaller breweries can give more attention to the detail and have better outcomes.
While the bigger brewers have the big bucks to afford a better R&D team, the smaller breweries can do a smaller number of units of a new recipe and put it out quicker. Bureaucracy in terms of internal affairs in this branch as in all others, is a big slow-down for the machinery. Once the idea is created, it has to go through many hands and brains until the beer is brewed and even more before it is sold. Sometimes, for big brewers, putting out a new beer can be a two-to-five year process. While that happens for big brands, the small ones can just approve the prototypes and sell them within less than a year.
This is a definitive factor most of the times because the quality of the ingredients being used for the brewing of the beer makes a lot of difference. When you buy for your entire production from only one supplier who takes it from one field, the chances of obtaining a more consistent product are increased. Also, when there are so few steps from the idea to the final crafting, the investment can be used and bought again in little time avoiding the bags of seeds to be in storage for long periods of time, degrading.
While it is true that bigger brewers have more money to invest in technology, quality assurance and state-of-the-art facilities, the handmade work of the small breweries combined with the expertise of the brew masters is still not beaten. Maybe it is me, but human quality is still number one in the complicated process of beer-brewing.