We were privileged to attend the Great Scottish Beer Celebration a couple of weeks ago in Glasgow. Organised by a specialist craft beer retailer it brought together 18 independent breweries to one venue.
It was genuinely inspiring to see the passion, energy and enthusiasm on display. Many of the breweries present were quite new, it was often the owners and the brewers themselves that were actually selling their products and explaining their processes to the crowds present. Few industries have been as commoditised and globalised as drinks and beer in particular. Yet craft brewing has grown in recent years as the discerning and the simply curious seek out something new.
Like the globalised brands though it’s important that their craft cousins don’t end up homogenised and indistinguishable from one another. Finding a unique voice and a unique story is vital, but it’s not as easy as it sounds. For many people one small east coast fishing village is much like another, so simple geography often isn’t enough. It’s hard to run a small business of course, particularly a start up. As if focusing on the production process, delivery chain, retail supply and the finances aren’t hard enough thought also needs to be given to branding and positioning too.
From our perspective there were some products with real potential on display, we really hope they can fulfil it in the coming years.