How Diverse Breweries can Disrupt the Craft Beer Industry

February 25, 2019

Craft Beers

Craft brewer sales have increased year after year, taking up 12.7% of the US beer market in terms of volume, and a significant 23% of the $111.4 billion retail dollar sales.

Yes, really.

Traditionally this industry has been mostly dominated by young white men, but thanks to many breweries popping up around the world, this is beginning to change.

Let’s take a look at how diverse breweries such as Good Robot are disrupting the craft beer industry, and how you can do the same thing.

Good Robot

Good Robot is a Canadian brewery which was founded in 2015, and brands itself as ‘Halifax’s most questionable brewery’.

Launched by three good friends and self-proclaimed ‘misfits’, this brewery has recently made the news for their staff’s broad diversity, and how they are trying to redefine craft beer and smash stereotypes at the same time.

Their open and inclusive thought process focuses on being welcoming and encouraging people with relevant skills to apply for their jobs.

For instance, when Giovanni Johnson was applying for jobs in the Halifax area, he didn’t fit the stereotype of a craft brew enthusiast – he was originally from the Bahamas, black, and majored in biology at university.

While he was minoring in chemistry, Johnson learnt about brewing beers from an experiment where his class extracted yeast from a tree to brew cider, which sparked his interest in craft beer and inspired him to find work in this field.

One of the co-founders ended up giving Johnson a three-hour interview in which they spoke about beer, his experience and his education.

While he didn’t have specific work experience or technical skills in this area, the co-founder saw past this and realised that his relevant education was an excellent fit. After all, he can learn the rest of it on the job.

Now, Johnson is widely known to be the only professional black brewer in Nova Scotia.

Diversity

This forward-thinking and progressive process means that Good Robot has a diverse staff that don’t necessarily fit into the conventional moulds society has created for craft brewers or enthusiasts.

For instance, around 50% of Good Robot’s staff are women, and their brewer Kelly regularly holds events for women who brew or enjoy craft beer through ‘FemmeBot’, which includes homebrew competitions, collaborations and sponsorships.

They also support and collaborate with different companies which fit in with their ethics and goals, such as LGBTQ organisations such as Outeast Queer Film Festival and Halifax Pride Festival.

Sustainability

As more and more breweries look towards diversifying and becoming more inclusive, thereby getting the right people for the job and helping their business thrive, there’s also another critical aspect to consider; sustainability.

Many diverse breweries are looking towards being more eco-conscious.

This can also help your business to become more successful in more ways than one.

Let’s take a look at how breweries such as Good Robot have (or can) become more eco-friendly, and how it could help your bottom line.

Sustainable beer

As you are planning to develop your business and become more eco-friendly, which benefits not only the environment but also your budget and profits, you should consider ensuring that your beer is as sustainable as it can be too.

Breweries, of course, make their beer – but where did the barley come from? The water? Hops? Energy?

This is what needs to be considered when you are trying to disrupt the craft beer industry and create a purely sustainable beer for you and your customers.

For instance, with some steel building kits, you could benefit from choosing additional extras that can help with your energy consumption.

Choosing more, or bigger, windows will give you enough natural light to save money on using your lights, or you can have solar panels installed to produce clean energy for your equipment.

And, many steel companies will offer you insulation as part of your package, which can help you save significantly on your heating bills.

Another factor to consider might be whether you want to own a farm for your crops, in which case a steel building kit could be an excellent fit for you.

Water impact

It’s a fact that many businesses are overexploiting the use of water, and with one gallon of beer taking around three gallons of water to make, it’s clear that many breweries need to try and consider their impact on water as a resource.

With even the most efficient breweries these numbers can lower to 3.5 litres of water to make 1 litre of beer, but there’s still some significant way to go in terms of becoming more conscious of water used.

Such as for the cleaning of beer, cooling and packaging your product.

Some breweries are making the decision to dig wells, constructing plants to clean wastewater and becoming more mindful about how much beer they can realistically produce or launch with a reasonable amount of water usage.

Beer cans

Traditionally, beer cans have had a less than stellar reputation with breweries – but why is this?

It could be just word of mouth.

While beer cans in the past may have given you a metallic taste, there is now a thin layer of coating on the inside of each can, which protects the beer from touching the aluminium used to contain it.

This means that a lot more breweries, including those who are disrupting the industry like Good Robot, are pursuing these canned beers and for excellent reason.

Aluminium is one of the most recyclable materials on the planet and causes a much smaller footprint than when it is produced, which is why you should ensure that you recycle all of your old beer cans.

They also keep your beer fresher for longer, by protecting it against oxidisation which can quickly kill the flavour of your beer and make it go ‘flat’.

Sustainable society

Good Robot doesn’t just support the arts and organisations such as the Ladies Beer League, they also invest in a sustainable community, by their efforts and commitment to raising money for Goodwill projects.

They do this in two ways;

Firstly, every Monday they invite a different non-profit into their taproom to recruit new members, raise money and get $1 of every pint sale that evening.

Secondly, Good Robot is happy to help support many different fundraising incentives, like offering gift cards for a charity auction or beer for your event.

Steel breweries are an excellent choice for hosting events like these, thanks to the fact that they can be well insulated, give you a lot of interior space and can be tailored to your specific needs.

Ethical suppliers

Another essential element to becoming a sustainable brewery and significantly helping the eco-system is to partner with trustworthy and ethical suppliers, who in turn need to be eco-conscious and progressive.

For instance, this might be working with entirely local companies who believe in zero waste or having a label supplier whose labels are fully biodegradable.

You might want to consider suppliers of steel buildings, hops, energy or even your glasses and beer mats who are also focused on being eco-friendly, with a range of options for you to consider regarding making your brewery more sustainable.

Rise to the challenge

In conclusion, many breweries are starting to rise to the challenge of creating a more diverse and sustainable business, which will not only allow your company to thrive but create an inclusive and welcoming atmosphere which can help your employees and your brand.


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Oliver Smith

CEO of Green Building Elements.
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