The past year threw the brewing industry a massive curveball—and equipment purchases are reflecting that. Not only does a precarious economy make every dollar count more than ever, but some breweries’ business models had to suddenly change on a dime. A challenging year for the industry had breweries looking at equipment in a new light.
“When you’re growing, it’s like, ‘Yeah let’s spend $250,000 on that gadget!’ When that slows down, it’s like, ‘Hmm, do we really need that?’ The way the market is now has forced people to make smarter decisions,” says Clay Robinson, cofounder and co-CEO of Sun King Brewing in Indianapolis.
Smarter decisions are those that address an immediate need but also offer continued return on investment, says Jon Carpenter, a longtime brewer and the founder of Opensō Consulting. “We need to pause, and instead of reacting immediately to the nature of our environment right now, take a step back and say, ‘What is this going to do for my brand, my product, my customer base, my experience?’” Carpenter says.