Craft beer’s renaissance has truly been amazing. There is such a wide offering of excellent beer in America that the variety and quality is staggering. With more effort, care, and money being spent on good beer, I think it’s important to convey my personal philosophy when it comes to beer. I try to make this evident in how we run our little brewery, but I’d like to spell it out here so that it is obvious.
Beer is a drink for the people. I never want beer to become something inaccessible to everyday people. That means that our prices will always be comparatively low for the area, and will only get lower as we grow. Right now, we always try to keep a $5 session ale pint and $6 IPA pint on tap. When you’ve had a hard day or you just want to relax, your wallet shouldn’t take a big hit in order to enjoy a true pint of beer.
On that subject, you will never find us using cheater pints. If you’re unaware, cheater pints mimic pint glasses, but have a large glass bubble at the bottom, so that you aren’t really getting a pint. They have become ubiquitous in the craft beer scene. Our pints are 16 ounces, and our tulips are 12 ounces.
Our growler fill prices are a bit steep at the moment, which is something I hope to change. We charge $16 a fill, but I would like to lower that to $9-12 per fill in the future. In my opinion, a growler should be a similarly-priced alternative to a six pack. I want to encourage people to buy beer straight from the source, and to share it with others. Growlers are the perfect format for this. Our prices need to stay where they are right now, but in the future, expect to pay less.
However, we always offer free tastes. Besides a flight, I will give a taste of any beer to anybody for free. It’s just good business practice.
Finally, you will never see a beer for more than $7.50 on tap at Crooked Run. I do not care how much it costs me to make a beer–I am not going to price it higher than this. Truthfully, I don’t even like charging that much, but it’s necessary to recoup the cost on some pricey recipes, and for the time spent on sours.
I think we make some great beers and I really enjoy sharing them with people. Even if we made the best beer in the world, I still wouldn’t want to see a $10 tab for one beer at my place. My favorite part of my job is hanging out with customers, enjoying a pint, and talking about what is coming up next. I don’t ever want to see people as a way to wring money at every opportunity.
Maybe I’m not a good businessman with this philosophy, but I don’t care. I’d rather do what I think is right than what earns the most money. I never want to lose sight of these ideals; if, by some miracle, down the road we grow to a bigger place, I still want to be at the bar, hanging out with all the people that believed in me and made this business a success.