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Asheville: Market Research part 3
This past weekend the guys of Eventide embarked on an adventure to Asheville, NC. Much fun was had along the way and, thankfully, much was also accomplished. This week we’ve been touching on things that we picked up on our visit (insert any number of jokes here) and have been discussing them in our blog posts. A great deal can be learned by simply observing your surroundings and asking a few, well placed questions. One thing I observed is that, not surprisingly, there are many, many craft breweries in Asheville. This is to be expected of a placed which has been named “Beer City, USA” 4 years running. Wow, give yourself a hand Asheville. However, if you look a little deeper then you will see a disparity between their many breweries. There are those breweries who know who they are and what they want but then there are also those who seem to have simply followed down a trendy path.
This is a growing trend in the craft beer world. The interest in craft beer is rising in direct proportion to its popularity, which is to be expected, but some breweries and brewpubs on the make are being prepped and planned on a whim. Not only will these new additions have a hard time sustaining the difficult struggles of the brewing industry (or any industry) without the passion and conviction to see the endeavor through to the end, but the lack of that passion and conviction also undermines the foundation of the industry they claim to love. Craft beer was founded on passion for a product and the conviction to see it made despite the obstacle.
So, the bit of knowledge I would like to impart is this: know your market, know your customers, but, most importantly, know yourself.
If craft brewing is your passion then I give you my full blessing to follow your dream; that is exactly what I am doing. However, if the idea of owning a brewery is more appealing than the day in and day out toil of actually running one then you may want to take a minute and figure out if this is what you really want to do. In the future, what will distinguish the truly great breweries from the rest of the pack may very well be the drive and determination to be the very best, and that is very hard to achieve if you have only a passing interest in your undertaking. To quote Jimmy Johnson: “the difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra”, and, while the quote is cheesy, it is also true.
P.S. To show that it wasn’t all work, here’s a shot of Mat and I enjoying the local scene.
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