One hit wonders are not limited to the music industry.   Aha is to 80′s pop as Primo is to Beer fads.

Sure, plenty of breweries have one or two slam dunk beers that everyone can agree, but what really puts them on the map?

There are two reasons I have been considering this:  First, I just visited Three FLoyds Brewery, and walked away very impressed, not only with there outstanding lineup of beer, but with the company in general.  Second, I recently purchased a sampler pack (great litmus test for quality consistency in a brewery) from Mendicino brewery and unfortunately had to choke down nearly every beer in the pack.  As drank Medicino’s beer, I thought, “how do these guys manage to stay in business?

A few thoughts come to mind…

As I said before, a great brewery puts out a consistent line up of great beers.  I think of Dogfish head.  Their Raison D’ Etre exhibits the same quality as their 120 Minute IPA, even though they fall in different categories.  You don’t have to like every variety, but the quality is apparent.

Breweries are able to balance Risk and Reward. In doing so, they create new market space.  Everyone else is whipping out mild batches of IPA bittered up with cascade hops…do you really think we need another brewery touting this as their flagship beer?  If so, there will be dehibilitating and tiring competion going on.

Breweries that find a way to make themselves desired succeed.  I guess this would be innovative marketing. Dark Lord Day is the perfect example.  Let’s face it, Russian Imperial Stout is not a typical cult favorite.  But the Three Floyds, by opening up this beer for sale only once a year at their brewery, bypass commercial resale and create a sort esoteric nature for their brewery.  You have to have a golden ticket–know the secret handshake–just to taste this goodness.  People want what is hard to come by.

Admittedly, I’ve just scratched the surface, and may be way off.  After all, America’s most drinkable beer will most likely never find it’s way on to this site!

So I’m curious…why do you love and respect your favorite breweries?  And how were you offended by breweries that you may find apalling?  As two guys who would love to open a brewery someday, we need some feedback!