For people who like beer, especially real ale enthusiasts, this is a really important question.
We don't want all beers to taste like the same bland, boring products churned out by the big corporate breweries - but once we have discovered a beer produced by a micro-brewery or a craft brewery that we enjoy, we want it to taste the same the next time we try it.
What makes real ale great is the quality of the ingredients, the balance of the flavours, and the variety of flavours available.
Automation is key
What Fremont Brewing have done is to invest in automated processes and quality checking to ensure that their beer tastes consistently great.
“There has been a lot of talk about breweries growing up and going to that next level,” says Matt Lincoln, co-founder of the Fremont Brewery. “Is it still craft if there’s all this technology and automation and stuff? And I think craft is your attitude towards beer — using natural ingredients and local ingredients and making the best possible beer that you want to drink. Automation is simply a tool to make better beer.”
What can other companies learn from this?
Automation keeps your processes and outputs consistent. It frees you and your staff up to focus on the quality of your interaction with customers - whether it is the inputs to your process, your overall product, or your customer service. And it doesn't mean compromising your unique selling point or your quirky presentation style; in fact, it complements these really well, and allows them to shine.
“You’re only as good as your last beer,” Nelson said. “So we are investing a lot of resources into assuring that our beer is consistently at our high standards. And that’s not just important to our brand, but it’s important, very much, to craft beer. As craft grows in market share, people fall in love with it and they expect it to be great the next time they have it.”