A transparency exercise...

Taken from my mailbox last week. I'd better not show you my email inbox...
I read with interest about Tempest Brewing Co's future plans in The BeerCast. I met a good part of their team while preparing their Meet the Brewer session at the Barcelona Beer Festival in 2016, and I enjoyed some varieties of their beers. After all, it does not come as a surprise that they are doing well.

However, the thing that leads me to write the present post is the initial reflection by colleague writer Rich Taylor, and what actually reveals the disclosure of this information by the Scottish brewery: a growing tendency to communicate on internal affairs and strategies. A good transparency exercise.

"In these changing times of breweries controlled by investment funds, effective communication with the consumer is key"

In the first day of 2017, Cloudwater, one of the breweries that has experienced a greater growth in popularity and structure in a shorter time in the UK, wrote a very long piece in which they provided the reader with lots of interesting data, as well as their more immediate plans. Still, the elephant wandering around the room was clearly their choice to abandon cask, something that went viral on Twitter and the national and international blogosphere. But the Mancunians disclosed much internal information, and they provided strong arguments to back their decision to stop producing cask. No doubt, they came out strengthened after this exercise.

We could find other examples, but as Rich points out this is certainly a new trend. And one that I personally hope to see followed by all those brewers who claim to feel committed to their consumers, and who have a true, genuine story to tell.

Let us make sense of the labels, be it craft be it artisan, by differentiating not only the product, but the businesses' philosophy and how they treat and relate with their consumers. In these troubled times in which some breweries are controlled by investment funds, whose sole and exclusive purpose is unequivocally to give profitability to their investors, this is a direction that I doubt many macrobreweries are willing to follow, without relying on a great marketing plan that ends up distorting the original meaning of the action. Likewise, with the powerful competition of imported beers from rewnowned international brewers, no one can get better to the local consumer than the producer who lives next to him, with whom he shares a social and cultural space.

Listing ingredients in detail is not only an exercise of transparency, but also a proclamation of absolute confidence in one's own technique and product.
Consequently, I would like to encourage local brewers to make their way down this path of honesty and transparency, of real contact and exchange with their faithful followers and regular consumers. It all starts by having a product made in an honest way. By labelling and disseminating correctly, and with as much additional data as possible so as to allow a good understanding of the product.

The next stage is to disclose quality information about a company's internal functioning, production, performance, prospects and future intentions. To take advantage of social networks, and other channels, as a vehicle to maintain bilateral contact with the consumer, not as a means of spamming with the entire catalogue of products and services. After all, to benefit from a good and easy channelling to tell a complete own story.

Salut i birra!


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