As we saw yesterday from Fat Head’s Brewery giving away hops, craft brewers are coming up with creative ways to get their customers involved in the brewing process. Craft beer drinkers often have an interest in how their beers are brewed. Across the pond, Best of British Beer and Lymestone Brewery are taking the interaction idea a step further by offering customers the opportunity to become “virtual brewers.”
The Drink’s Business, a European trade publication, reported that for a mere £10 (the rough equivalent of $15) customers can buy a membership that will allow them to make decisions on how the beer is brewed and the finish product will taste.
Ian Bradford of Lymestone Brewery is also keen on the project, he said: “The brewing process can take up to six weeks and there are a number of key decisions to be made along the way to ensure the final product is true to the recipe.
“We produce a core range of beers and a number of seasonal specials, but the possible variations on a standard glass of beer are almost limitless and this is where we need customer input. Whether it’s a different combination of hops, the use of roasted barley or even the addition of honey and fruit to the brewing process, we need to plan the stages carefully before brewing can commence.”
Among the decisions members get to influence are the beer’s color, strength, style, flavor, label design and name. The beer’s label will also feature the name of everyone who became a member before the beer hits the virtual store shelf, as it’s sold via the Best of British Beer’s website.
This is yet another sign of craft beer’s growing popularity in the United Kingdom. Inspired by American brewers, UK brewers are putting their own unique spin on craft beer by focusing on their own traditional styles. Craft camaraderie is all the more evident in Dogfish Head’s latest collaboration.