Welcome to our semiannual anonymous feedback survey, where the chip on our shoulder translates to a need for validation from our fans. This post highlights some of the more interesting feedback we thought was worth addressing (the survey questions can be found here). Let’s get started with feedback about our beer.
Experimental, eccentric, untrue to style. That’s been a mantra of ours from the beginning. And most folks seem to enjoy it. But there is a dedicated base who are tired of our gimmicky shit. What’s a matter, pal, you don’t want a mixed-fermentation sour ale with Oaxacan chocolate and Yoo-hoo? I’m just joshin’ ya. We understand that people want us to nail a few traditional styles rather than constantly trying new things. We have a few traditional styles on deck: a milk stout, a cream ale, the return of our Oktoberfest, and perhaps our first IPA. We’ve also got a lot more crazy shit, too. Mixed fermentation ales, white stouts, coconut beers, and myriad others to appease you weirdos who like us. We’re robots. We like to experiment.
About 27% of the survey responses indicate the quality of beer is okay. We get it. We’ve had some incidents in the past, like our American wild beer (we wish we could take that back). Moving forward, we’re continuously investing into tighter quality control and better systems:
- We now have a dedicated QA/QC and yeast microbiologist (and another in training) who we sent to Siebel training in Montreal for QA/QC.
- We’re building an onsite laboratory for yeast quality testing.
- We’ve got a pile of brewery refurbishments scheduled for the fall and winter, such as a new chiller installation.
Many of the survey complaints regarding quality specifically pertained to consistency. For example, some folks did not like our various iterations of the Burban Legend (American pale ale), or they don’t like that our beers sometimes change batch to batch. Changing recipes slightly batch to batch is just the way we like to do things. For example, the Burban Legend uses a lot less caramel malt now than it did two years ago when we opened because, well, our tastes have changed with time.
Isn’t that funny? A craft beer crowd is demanding lower alcohol beers. There was a period in the late spring when the lightest beer we had on tap was 5.7% ABV. Our staff nicknamed that era the “face-melter”. We had to cut off more regular patrons than ever before. We got the message. We’re trying to brew lower alcohol beers.
Wow. You guys want canned and bottled beer. Well, watch out for some special fall releases…
23% of the total survey respondents requested more tables at our location. This is in the works. That’s all I have to say about that.
We just added sparkling water to our menu, but it seems folks want more nonalcoholic options. Plus, more ciders, more guest beers, more wine and more types of alcohol. Well, folks, I can tell you with confidence most of those will not be happening. We are a brewery, first and foremost. We are not going to bring in more wine because we only sell about 2 glasses per day. We tried selling cold-brewed coffee on tap, but it sold much, much slower than any beer or cider. And as for more alcoholic options – not a chance. We don’t want to be a whiskey bar. Our bathrooms are stinky enough.
Regarding events, there was lots of good feedback for Goodwill Bot (charity Mondays), Silent Reading, Just Vorlaufs! (outdoor stand-up comedy), Robie Scope (outdoor movie Sundays) and GRB Tiny Pub Concerts (live music). Don’t worry, folks; these events aren’t going anywhere.
We get it. You don’t like our stupid videos, stupid inside jokes, stupid Smash Mouth gags or stupid April Fool’s Day pranks. Also, very few respondents knew that our beers are gluten-reduced, that every Tuesday we release a test “BetaBrew” batch, or any other important advertising points that actually bring in money. So I suppose the Yelp salespeople who call here weekly are right: social media doesn’t sell. Time to invest in table tents and wing night.
So, how about it? Anything else we should know?
Oh, and congrats to Lianne L. for winning the $50 gift card. Though based on your survey feedback, you won’t be using it.