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Three Rules to Live By

1. The consumers will pay for your brand if they want it. That means great beer that’s fresh when they drink it; a brand people identify with; a taproom where they want to hang out. Get that right and everything else is easy. Get it wrong and nothing you do will work.

2. Avoid discounting that goes beyond normal craft beer practices. Once you go there you can’t come back. For most mid-size to small craft breweries, deep discounting is the third rail. Don’t touch it. Maintain your margins even if it costs you volume. Revenue management is critical. Profitless volume is meaningless.

3. Rotation. It matters more than points of distribution. When your product sells through, increased distribution naturally follows. The opposite also holds true. Higher prices and product rotation are not necessarily conflicting. See #1.

The ability to do these three things well will determine the winners, losers and survivors.

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