We’re still trying to figure out what our blog’s focus or direction should be. But recently it occurred to us that many people visiting our taproom have a lot of questions. During our last blog post “Best places to drink and eat in South San Francisco” we tried to help you find the best spots, to… well… drink and eat! For this post we’re going to attempt to help answer a commonly asked question we often get, “what makes you a craft brewery?”
Craft brewing has become synonymous with describing small scale breweries. When you think about local breweries you probably automatically think about great tasting beers made by bearded guys or women wearing pick boots (pink boots society) usually out of a warehouse or garage. You’re not wrong to think about all those iconic images. But we encourage you think beyond just beards, pink boots, warehouses, and locally produced beers. For most small craft breweries including ourselves it means more, it means craft everything. When we started building out our South San Francisco location a few years back none of us really knew what we were doing. But thanks to a little research, Google, and many nights watching YouTube videos we soon figured out how to build and craft many new and wonderful things. Like a historical looking bar, wood tables, and at the end of the day a neighborhood brewery making craft beers that locals in South City could easily access by walking, car, or Caltrain.
Brewing a few batches of beer a month will definitely make you a brewery. However, what truly makes you a craft brewery is the number of different things that you do each day to create value from very little or nothing at all. It’s about building a craft beer community through your talents and skills. In addition to developing those new skills it’s also about teaching others what you know about brewing, all while using your creativity to turn grain, hops, water, and yeast into an alcoholic beverage that you believe is the best beer around. As with any craft it takes intuition, practice, and patience to create what others will appreciate or call inspirational.
The next time you visit a craft brewery we want you to think about a few things while drinking your favorite brew. In addition to making the beers, your brewer probably also did the drywall, cement work, and artwork you see in the taproom. They spent their morning brewery beers and their evenings writing a newsletter announcing their next beer release, or even hosting a popular trivia night every Wednesday night like we do (shameless plug). They probably spent their last dime ordering growlers or glasses needed to fill with beer. And will most likely spend their weekends at a beer festival or picking up empty kegs to batch their next beer run. A lot of what makes craft brewing a craft is often never thought of or seen by most looking to enter into the industry or start their own local brewpub.
With this insight into craft brewing if you still want to open up your own brewery great! Because we can always use a new place to go and enjoy a beer, meet new friends, and see you hone the craft. If after knowing what it takes to start a brewery you no longer find yourself wanting to enter the industry there is nothing wrong with that too. Because as we said earlier in this blog post, craft brewing is just as much about folks enjoying the beers we produce as it is about producing the beers. But untimely what makes a brewery a craft brewery is the innovation, do it yourself attitude, ideas, and effort it takes to run these small business. And ultimately at the heart of it all a willingness to learn new things as you go and the hope that what you do doesn’t turn into a Pinterest fail!