Garrett Oliver is the Brewmaster of The Brooklyn Brewery, the author of The Brewmaster's Table, and the foremost authority in the United States on the subject of traditional beer. After years of amateur brewing inspired by beers he had encountered during a year in England, Garrett Oliver began brewing professionally at Manhattan Brewing Company in 1989 as an apprentice. He was appointed brewmaster there in 1993. He soon became widely known both here and abroad for his flavorful interpretations of traditional brewing styles and as an avid and entertaining lecturer and writer on the subject of fine beer. Garrett has hosted hundreds of beer tastings and dinners, writes regularly for beer and food-related periodicals, and is internationally recognized as an expert on traditional beer styles and their affinity with good food.
Question: How do you market a new beer?
Garrett Oliver: Well, I mean there any number ways to market a new beer. It partly depends on how much money you are working with. If you are doing it the way that we do it, it really depends on whether or not it's just a specialty small thing or whether we're actually bringing in-- this happens relatively rarely because we create so many beers--but an actual we call a line extension meaning that it's permanent new type. In which case we work more with getting the beer in front of people. We want people to taste it and if they taste our beer we have enough confidence in it that we think that people are going to want it and hopefully buy it. So that's really what the way that we tend to do most of our marketing. We're not spending money on television ads or whatever else we put the beer in people’s hands and say taste this and that's really for us the most effective thing and that is why I've done, one reason why I;ve done so many beer tasting and dinners and events all over the world for all these years.
Question: What is the biggest micro-brewery success story?
Garrett Oliver: That is hard to say, I mean there are a lot of success stories in United States, I mean we have 13,000 breweries now in the United States, and we are we have now gone from I don’t think most Americans would realize this that we have gone from say 20 years ago a situation where we took all of our. Inspiration from Europe to a situation now where every one tends to look to the United States for inspiration when it comes to brewing because we have the most interesting dynamic brewing culture going in the world. So when you go to the Denmark and you go to Sweden and then you go to UK and you go around the rest of the world you see people brewing and what is referred to often as the American style which is bold and innovative. As supposed to what the American style would have meant 20 years ago, which meant we can water it, so it is really been this transformation.
Recorded On: 3/25/08