|They seek it here, they seek it there|
As many of you know, I work in a shop that sells (amongst other things) beer. We do around 300 lines of what is known in the trade as "Premium Bottled Ales", and have won awards for it. However, about 18 months ago our beer buyer decided this was not enough. No. He'd read that "Craft" was now a "thing".
So, we spent two days shoving up the PBAs and "World Lagers" to make room for the extra 90 lines he'd decided we should have, completely buggering the layout that took me a week to do in August 2012. But no matter. We were now selling stuff like DNA, Goose Island Honkers and cans of Thwaites 13 Guns.
Since the time it went in, I have learned many things about craft beer retailing. One being the habits of your average Crafty. One person I know looked over our whole bay of Craft Cans and said "Well. It's ok. I suppose. Will you be getting Magic Rock in?" Two months later Salty Kiss, Cannonball and High Wire were listed and duly arrived.
Mr. Resident Crafty came shopping two days later. I took him to the beer and showed him our shiny new lines. "Hmm. Cannonball's alright. But will you be getting any Moor soon?". Ok. Right then. Eventually our buyer reached Bristol on his tasting tour, and the Moor came in at the end of April.
Mr Crafty told me that Nor'Hop and So'Hop weren't the best we could have got from them. Any more new lines coming in?
And this is the thing about trying to appeal to the Hardcore Crafty consumer. Your range, however large or diverse is never quite good enough. You need a constant turnover of "new" and "exciting" stuff otherwise they get bored and complain. In matters of the Craft, they are as fickle as can be.
We're getting Beavertown Bloody 'Ell and BrewDog Black Hammer soon. Do you think they'll be happy then?