Two Non-Negotiables for Brewery Growth and Long-Term Success

Another month comes to a close and we have another The True Craft Podcast Recap for you!

This month, we had the honor of chatting with Kary Shumway, creator of Beer Business Finance, and Chris Cesnek & Brandon Monroe of Paperback Brewing Co. out of Glendale, CA!

This month, our conversations were all about committing to knowing your numbers and cultivating your brewery’s brand identity.

Our first episode of May focused on how to (actually) manage cash flow and why relying solely on gut feeling to make financial decisions isn’t cutting it. The second episode is a look into the process of developing a brand identity and how the story of your brewery (and beer) can make a massive impact when you’re dedicated to telling it consistently.

Without further ado, let’s begin!

May Episodes
May Takeaways

Double down on a sophisticated taproom

Over the past few years alone, we have seen a more sophisticated taproom experience begin to take shape. Instead of just beer and a good conversation, it’s become that plus a variety in beverages (ciders, wine, cocktails), an introduction of food, and an expansion of entertainment that isn’t just live music or trivia night.

Kary Shumway of Beer Business Finance sees this as something to be continued (and built upon) as customers are responding favorably.

KARY: [The taproom] is getting much more sophisticated. So I think it's worth examining why. The business runs on two things, right? Products and customers. When it comes to products: How can we expand them? What are people looking for? When it comes to customers: Who are they? I think it’s important to get a lot more sophisticated with these expanding demographics. What's appealing to Millennials vs. Gen X vs. Baby Boomers? It’s getting more dynamic in terms of expanding the portfolio, getting more sophisticated on who the customer is and having that play into more sophisticated marketing as well.

Your brand identity is crucial, but consistency ultimately prevails

When we sat down with Chris Cesnek and Brandon Monroe from Paperback Brewing, we learned a ton about brand identity and what it takes to cultivate a brewery’s brand over time.

Our conversation highlighted a fundamental truth: without the unwavering commitment of its team, a brewery’s brand identity can be nothing more than a flashy outer shell.

Chris C. from Paperback Brewing recalls a memory that validates his team’s dedication to their brand, while Chris F. from SBS identifies an aspect that elevates the dedication one step further:

CHRIS C. One of the best compliments I’ve ever received came from a customer who didn’t know I was an owner and said to me, “Whoever created this place had a vision.” I think that the number one thing is to be focused and committed to [your brand identity].

CHRIS F: It's the consistency. It's the repeatable and not letting go of the gas pedal. I think some brands tend to pop hard on a new release or event. But then there's no follow through. Once you pop hard, you're talking about needing to pop hard every weekend going forward. Or if you commit to being a live music venue, right? If you're going to go that route, you've got to offer really consistent live music each week.

Building a brand’s identity takes time and it won’t happen over night. But more than that, it should be nurtured by a committed group of people who are willing to play the long game and deliver a reliable, consistent brand experience.


Dedicate 10 minutes a day to learning about your finances

When we sat down with Kary, a lot of our conversation could be summed up by one simple phrase: know your numbers.

Kary and Chris agree that a minimal daily commitment to learning your business finances can truly make a remarkable difference. However, they acknowledge that this can sound like a huge undertaking if you don’t know where to start, to which Kary offers some advice:

KARY: Rather than skipping the work, make the scope smaller. Just find 10 minutes a day. Doing that consistently really adds up. For anyone a little overwhelmed and unsure of where to start, first get with someone [like SBS or myself] or use our free resources to understand what the roadmap should look like and then dedicate 10-15 minutes a day to learning. I'm not kidding. It will get you so much further and at the end of a couple months, you’ll look back and it's pretty amazing what you’ll accomplish. But it’s gotta be consistent.

And that’s a wrap on May’s The True Craft Podcast Recap!

If you haven’t already subscribed, you can do so here and listen to new episodes as they’re released.

We’ll see you back at the end of June!

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