If You Build a Brewery.. You Must Be Able to Bottle or Can..

In the past almost 5 years that I have been partaking in craft beer it still amazes me how much things continue to change and grow. Which is good, you can't be a stagnant in this industry - there will always been another brewer on your tail if you are.

Back to my thoughts.. I've been trying as much as possible to follow all the new opening breweries.  They are popping up like weeds. I thought at one time the craft beer bubble would burst with all these breweries but demand is high so the supply keeps coming. I'm excited, don't get me wrong, but wow.

And an even bigger wow - I can go into Kahn's or Crown Liquors or many other little liquors stores throughout Indianapolis and I try so many new breweries without even visiting them, because they have bottles or cans available right there.

It is almost as if the start a brewery isn't enough you have to start a production brewery and distribute as fast as possible.  I wonder two things though when I look at these bottles and cans on the shelf from a newbie brewery. I wonder first off what makes them think that there beer is so good in huge batches that they can automatically mass produce.  For example, and not to pick on them, but Books and Brews up in Castleton has at least 10 bomber beers available at most of the liquor stores that I go into. I've got to the brewery a few times and they have been decent. Not my favorite, not one I will regular visit, but how in the world are they already out in bombers to sell?  If they aren't that awesome at the actual site it makes me weary to try a bomber. Secondly - the choice of bottle vs. can is why I wonder some people start out with bottling. I know that it is cheaper to produce, but this day and age it seems like cans are the big thing and the way that many big breweries are going to so why not just up the investment and go straight to cans? You know you will soon eventually.

I guess I should also say I'm slightly curious if this has helped sale in breweries or decreased sales in some that only offer growler sales and aren't out in liquor stores?  I have seen a liquor store in southern Indiana that actually offered sealed growlers from a local brewery. It was from Great Crescent Brewery.  Would that be a new trend for Indianapolis?

I miss the days where you went to a brewery, had some samples, and fell in love enough to buy that growler or bullet and then you went back occasionally to fill up.  But I am sentimental.

I'm not a frequent purchaser of bottles or cans of local beer at the liquor store.  I usually go for out of state items if I'm buying cans or bottles and save local beer for growlers / bullets or when I go out for a pint. Much rather have it fresh of the tap.

What do you all think? Do you think besides the burgeoning development of breweries that there is also an increase in the bottle/can phase?

Either way,
Good luck to all the breweries. May the best bottle win.

- Kathleen

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