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How much is too much variety?

Musing, ala pigJoe Stange tackles the how many are too many breweries question in the latest issue of DRAFT magazine (July-August).

Yes, the topic has been talked to death (the Time and Denver Post – ‘Why can’t there be a brewery on every corner?’ – summaries will get you caught up if you’ve been in the south of France drinking wine the last few years). But Joe gives us more to think about.

. . . and variety—not quality—might be the real secret to craft beer’s recent success.

If that’s true does it mean the real question(s) might be is there such a such as too much variety? and if so, how much is too much?

My guess is “yes” and “we don’t know yet.”

6 Responses to How much is too much variety?

  1. Nate O. July 25, 2013 at 12:44 pm #

    With these kinds of things, you never know how far is too far, until you drive off the cliff.

    • Stan Hieronymus July 25, 2013 at 12:49 pm #

      Nathan – You aren’t making the long trip to St. Louis for the Belgian festival on Saturday, are you? At least 15 saisons on the list – and as much as I love saisons that seems like a lot.

      • Nate O. July 25, 2013 at 3:03 pm #

        Oh man, that sounds rad. Looks like it’s sold out, though. I had no idea it was going on.

  2. Pivní Filosof July 25, 2013 at 11:01 pm #

    Social networks, blogs, etc. (or rather their users) have a lot to answer for. If a brewery wants to stay in the geek conversation they will have to come up with a new beer.

    My question is, how sustainable can this model be?

    • Stan Hieronymus July 26, 2013 at 4:40 am #

      Max – I agree that a model based on always offering something new is not sustainable.

      However, I also think there is more involved than pandering to the beer geek. More “average” drinkers want a wider variety of choices.

      • Pivní Filosof July 26, 2013 at 6:32 am #

        There is a balance, of course. There are breweries in a smart way, while there are others whose main aim seem to be to keep the novelty chasers happy.

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