I wanted to take a few moments to address some of the initial results and feedback. These responses will be completely key as we work our way forwards with opening Cobourg's brewery!
The responders to this point have been largely male (68%) and nearly half (49%) are between the ages of 35 and 45. No big surprises here, but I would love to hear from more ladies and from some of the 55+ crowd!
As far as preferred beer styles is concerned, I think that we are on the right track. Blonde Ales and Pale Ales seem to be very popular amongst the beer lovers in the Cobourg/Port Hope area, with the standard Lite Lager being less so. The big surprise, however, has been the overwhelming call for an IPA. This will necessitate some further questioning. How bold of an India Pale Ale are we talking here? I am really looking forward to getting our Hardscrabble India Pale Ale in front of you for your for feedback. It's a little sweeter than many of the really hop forward IPA's on the market, but still packs a punch at 7% ABV and nearly 100 IBUs.
The other area that I'm really looking for feedback on is packaging. In this area, I need to be considering several factors. Obviously, cost of packaging materials, bottles, labels printing etc. is a huge consideration, but I am also very conscious of the bottling process as it will be done largely by hand. At this point, I am happy to see that the Cobourg area is not inclined to prefer cans. I am a bottle guy as well and really did not want to consider canning beer onsite. The big question will be the size of the bottle and number. People do tend to like buying a single 650ml bottle, as it is a great size for sharing (or not). However, the survey results are indicating that you really like standard sized bottles. If that's your preference, how would you like them packaged...six packs? four packs? I'm hoping that a future survey will shed some light.
In the final question, I asked you to give me any further thoughts or opinions on our Cobourg Brewery project. Some of the popular items included:
- Extended retail business hours (to be decided)
- Available brewhouse tours and sampling (definitely...that's my favourite part too)
- Incorporate local history and culture into branding (absolutely, yes)
- LCBO Distribution (we walk before we run)
- Onsite restaurant (not in the initial plans but we are looking forward to working with some of the great restaurants in the area)
- Gluten Free offerings (ummmm....can we talk cider?)
- Keep the product natural and local (yes, yes, a thousand times yes)
Thanks again to everyone who has contributed the benefit of their wisdom thus far. I am, as always, humbled by the support and enthusiasm. Please don't hesitate to contact us at any time with thoughts, suggestions, complaints, braggings or whatever else is on your mind...you can reach us by email HERE.