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Palm Beach Brewery: how to construct the perfect brewery in Florida?


How in the world can you construct the perfect brewery in South Florida?  Specifically, how do you create the best Palm Beach Brewery?  Is it possible? Well, good news craft beer lovers ! There are more breweries coming to Palm Beach!  Yes, more Palm Beach Breweries are on their way, so get your palate ready.  What’s the secret to creating a world class brewery, tap room and production facility? Many craft beer enthusiasts have pondered this, have wondered about it. And, lots of brewery owners are pre-occupied with this concept, right?  How DO you construct a great craft brewery in Florida?  Here’s 5 thoughts on how to create the best brewery in Palm Beach.

  1. Don’t Focus on the Obvious.  We all know that you need great craft beer.   https://www.westpalmbeer.com/our-beers/The beer that you make must be good.  Delicious.  OK.  We get that.  But, isn’t that obvious.  So, don’t focus on the obvious?  Don’t think that just because you build a brewery, they will come.  They may not.  And, hey, doesn’t every craft brewery have at least one beer that you really, really like?  So, consider WHAT ELSE , besides craft beer, you may need to create a wonderful Florida craft brewery. Now, before I leave this first topic, let’s be clear.  You NEED great tasting beer at your brewery.  That’s the floor or threshold or minimum, right?  You won’t succeed if your beer does not resonate with your patrons.  But, you should already know this.  Moving on.
  2. Food.    I was shocked at how many people come to the brewery for food.  I am surprised at how many guests tell managers and wait staff that they are so glad the West Palm Beach Brewery does not have food trucks, but, rather, has it’s own restaurant called The IntraCoastal Kitchen.     We purchased a hand made wood fire oven made by hand in Sonoma, California just for the West Palm Brewery.  We fire roast veggies, authentic Florence and Venetian pizza, and offer healthy options like salads as well as bar bites like pretzels, sliders, meatballs (try Grandma’s Garlic Bread!).  https://www.westpalmbeer.com/our-food/  We also try to innovate and keep the menu constant, but with daily specials on the board. So you asked for Caesar Salad , you got it!  You wanted choice cuts of the very best filet mignon with spicy in house made secret recipe “kicking” drizzle on home made focaccia?…..you got it.  If you have your own restaurant, even with a limited menu, your revenues and fans will increase more than you realize. If you have only been focused on beer, you need to expand your universe and think outside the beer tank. 
  3. Wine at this Palm Beach Brewery.     You need a premium wine component. Do NOT sell mass produced wine that you can get anywhere else.  Even if you have a limited selection, you still need a small selection of unique, really good wine.  What’s really good wine?  Consider hiring a wine consultant or asking a friend who actually makes wine or who sells wine, like the owner, who makes wine in Napa and the Sta. Rita Hills.  https://www.westpalmbeer.com/our-wines/  Not everyone drinks beer, and even some beer drinkers will start with a beer and then have a big red Napa Cab with dinner.  Or, their business associate or partner or guest will want wine.    Just like food, don’t overlook the importance to your fans, your customers, and your gross revenues, regarding great wine.  
  4. Connect.  Everyone seems to know that Social Media is the way to connect or advertise and that’s cool. Take it a step further and ask, how can you connect with your fans and potential, new fans?  How often do you need to connect and post on Facebook   @wpbrewery  or Instagram or even create an event at EventBrite?   https://www.eventbrite.com/There are some hard and fast rules, like always posting about upcoming events, new beers, tap parties, specials and release parties.  At the West Palm Brewery, we create events on Facebook, announce each beer and wine that is being released, and then provide an incentive for folks to come and try what is new.  Trying to figure out how to connect, spread the word, and also thank guests and patrons, are always a part time job, but what’s important is that you at least have some sort of plan or schedule.  What are you doing next week or next month or the rest of the year to invite folks back to the brewery? 
  5. Create a Craft Brewery Experience in a Palm Beach Brewery.  Consider that we are in an experience economy.  Yup, that’s right, you are not selling great craft beer at your Palm Beach brewery.  You are selling an experience.   Or, at least consider this from a fan’s or guests’ or customer’s perspective. Consider that you are not selling craft beer or wine or made to order food, because, hey, this is south Florida.  There are  LOT of restaurants and bars and even Whole Foods,  https://www.westpalmbeer.com/our-wines/ which is a GREAT place to get a bite to eat and sample craft beer. The owner often goes to the Coral Gables Whole Foods for craft beer and a bite to eat before the University of Miami basketball games.  So, ask yourself: how are you connecting with your fans, and do you create an experience?  Do you create a fun, exciting, enjoyable experience that makes guests want to come back, makes them tell their friends about you, and who then insist on bringing other friends, out of town guests, and their families to your brewery?  Do you offer jazz on Sundays?   Free t shirts for a tap party?  Do you have giveaways?  Free bibs for babies?   Maybe checkers and chess? There’s no blueprint for creating an experience, but you need to start with the mindset that you need to do something different, that no one else is offering, and then fashion your brewery to try to get there.  No road map.  Just a state of mind.  Good luck !! 



Jul 5, 2018