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Craft beer is served as a flight at a bar. Craft beer is a quickly expanding market that is literally coming out of the woodwork.

Increase Your Bar’s Profits by Selling Craft Beers

November 7, 2018 5:07 pm Published by

There is no doubt that the economics of serving craft beer to your patrons can make it a very profitable and worthwhile undertaking and in most cases far more lucrative than selling nationally known name brands such as Budweiser, Coors, Miller, and others. When you break down the numbers on what it would cost you to purchase a keg of these name brand beers, versus what you can sell it for to a thirsty patron, you might realize a profit of between $250 and $300.

By contrast, selling a keg of a popular craft beer brewed locally or somewhere in the region might net you a profit of between $400 and $500, which makes it something that every bar and restaurant should theoretically consider, assuming such craft beers are locally available. If you look at it from the standpoint of profits alone, it might make you wonder why every establishment in the country doesn’t take advantage of this money-making proposition, and include craft beer offerings on their menus.

Fine Dining, Fine Pricing

The reason this doesn’t happen at every bar and restaurant across the country has more to do with the establishment itself than anything else. Roger Fields is an expert in the restaurant business who has written a book called Restaurant Success by the Numbers, and he addresses this situation in his book.

“In the restaurant business, the more homogeneous the concept – burger joints and pizzerias for example – the more resistant the menu items are to price increases. Fine dining and upscale restaurants, however, can charge more because customers differentiate their products by identity, not by price.”

This is especially true for upscale restaurants with craft beer offerings, and it explains why patrons will gladly pay more for a craft beer product, due to the setting of the place where they are being served. It’s also a whole lot easier to implement a price increase on a unique craft beer at such venues than it is to charge a higher price for a nationally known brand. There is virtually no sales resistance to an increase in a craft beer like there would be for one which is well known throughout the country.

A bartender pours a glass of beer from a tap, a piece of specialized equipment that is required for serving craft beer.

When serving craft beer you need to consider the cost of installation and training on the specialized equipment that is required.

Specialized Equipment for Craft Beer Service

There are a couple other factors which come into play and might make it difficult for some establishments to have the capability to serve craft beers. Maintaining the integrity of the unique beers being served calls for extra staff training, and some specialized equipment as well. Since it costs so much more to buy a keg of a unique craft beer from a local brewer, it becomes very important that personnel is educated properly about rotation and pour training.

It will be necessary to clean the beer pump lines bi-weekly in accordance with state regulations, and this always results in a certain amount of product literally going down the drain, as lines are sanitarily purged. In many cases, an entirely new system of pumping craft beer product has to be installed, because traditional beer gas-propelled systems result in excessive product loss. A more efficient delivery system reduces lost product because thinner lines can be used and over-carbonation is avoided.

There will admittedly be a relatively high cost of installation, but with the thinner diameter beer lines, product loss is minimized and the installation cost will usually be quickly recovered. It has been estimated that an establishment using 100-foot lines, with a system that includes 24 taps, might save an average of 3,000 pints of beer in the course of a year’s time during the line-purging process alone. However, even though there is a tremendous saving involved with implementing this specialized equipment, many bars and restaurants may not be aware of the facts and figures, and some others simply don’t want to make the upfront investment, because they lack the necessary resources.

Help in Getting Started

For those bar and restaurant owners who are interested in making craft beer offerings part of their menus, external help can be available even if there is no in-house expertise to guide you through the process of setting up for and selling craft beers. There are certified professionals such as those at Cicerone’s, who will lend their expertise to your establishment to get things set up and to establish efficient routines for serving patrons while minimizing product loss through the installation of high-efficiency pumping lines.

The craft beer market is ramping up quickly all over the country, with local breweries literally coming out of the woodwork, and this makes the present time perfect for bars and restaurants everywhere to cash in on the explosion of growth. The concept of unique craft beers is no longer something exotic and strange-sounding, but one which virtually all patrons everywhere have become aware of, and may even be curious enough about to want to sample local offerings.

The market for unique craft beer has never been better, and the economics for selling these products is so favorable at present, that it should be something every establishment considers, both to provide patrons with what they want and to increase profitability as well.

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