Imagine a customer, sitting at a bar, taking a first sip of your brewery’s latest handcrafted seasonal beer. Full of excitement and anticipation, he’s got specific expectations. This is going to be a transcendent experience.
As a brewer, this is your moment.
What makes a great first impression?
If you’ve created an IPA with a large hop illustration on the label and a list of six latin-named unique hops you’ve included, the beer should be, of course, sufficiently hoppy, bitter, and have lots of that expected unique aroma.
In some cases, however, the first impression is more of a challenge. What about seasonal brews using adjuncts such as fruit, fruit peel, nuts, cocoa and coconut? Many of these types of ingredients are expensive and require a high usage rate to provide an adequate flavor impact in the final beer. How do you ensure each component ingredient will be appreciated and noted to make that perfect impression?
Are all those flavors present? Or are some of your ingredients getting lost? After all, it can take a lot of coconut to compete with a little chocolate.
And what about predictability and consistency? When your customer takes that first sip of your summer blueberry wit, fall pumpkin ale, or your winter chocolate Rainier cherry ale, are you meeting the expectation you’ve promised on your label? If your beer lives up to those expectations, will the experience be the same the next time?
The most traditional of craft brewers may scoff at these questions and condescendingly retort that they will only use the purest whole ingredients. But there is measurable natural variation when using whole ingredients. Ideals are great, but didn’t you go into the beer industry to make delicious beers that people love to drink?
Many traditional craft brewers continue to resist the most effective way of balancing customer expectations with the desire to use natural and pure ingredients. Natural flavors, skillfully designed and sparingly used, will give your customers the experience they demand while allowing you to use those beloved whole, fresh, and natural ingredients.
When you imagine your customer taking his first sip of your blueberry ale, are you confident the blueberry will be recognized? Natural flavors can be used to enhance the flavor and aroma of the whole blueberries, the fresh cocoa nibs, or the freshly shaved coconut used in your brew.
Flavors have gotten a bad rap in the industry based on a few misguided assumptions.
Misconception #1: Flavors are to be used alone in a beer, without the fresh adjuncts.
Misconception #2: Flavors are all generated from artificial sources.
These ideas couldn’t be further from the truth. The use of natural beer flavorings is a popular enhancement to fresh ingredients and need only be used sparingly. You’d probably be surprised to know just how many of your most beloved beers are assisted by the gentle nudge of natural flavors.
At Beck Flavors, we hand blend our natural flavors for the brewing industry. Our flavor compounds are drawn directly from the source. Natural blueberry flavor comes directly from blueberries. Natural cinnamon comes from bark of the cinnamomum tree. It’s that simple.
Beck’s skilled, highly experienced flavorists will achieve your goal of meeting customers’ expectations and providing a consistency difficult to achieve in these types of beers. Watch your customer enjoy your new beer for the first time, and imagine having the confidence in knowing that experience will be repeated again and again.