On June 9 in Paso Robles, at the inaugural Firestone Walker Invitational Beer Fest, we asked participating craft beer pros, What’s your top selling beer, and why do you think that’s the case? Read their responses:
Tyson Arp (Nebraska Brewing Company)
That’s a hard question to answer. We sell beer in a lot of different markets. Every market’s a lot different. In Omaha, where we distribute most of our beer, our brown ale is actually our top seller. It’s funny. Other brewers look at you and say, “Why do you make brown ale? Nobody drinks brown ale.” Well, in Omaha, Nebraska, people drink brown ale. Outside of that, we have a couple wheat beers that do really well, and a pale ale that sells great.
We have popular beers, like Beer Geek Breakfast oatmeal stout. It’s extremely popular. Every time we brew it, it sells out, but we don’t have a flagship beer. We don’t have a 5% wheat beer that we sell 80% of our production. We do so many different beers, and they all sell out all the time.
Our flagship Double Barrel Ale is still our #1 seller. It is an English Style Pale Ale that has become the taste of the Central Coast. It has continued to be a leader for us for a few reasons. The beer has great drinkability and it pairs well with food. It isn’t over overly complicated – just good easy drinking craft-made ale with an amazing Central Coastal story behind it. It is also the beer we have spent the most time perfecting and we lead with it on the street with all of our customers because we love it so much and want to share it.
Phin DeMink Southern Tier Brewing
Right now our top selling beer is our 2X IPA, and I think it’s a really great double IPA and it’s light and dry, still packs a punch and has a lot of hop flavor. Obviously hop forward beers are kind of a really popular thing right now. I don’t know if it will be that way forever, but right now, our more hop forward beers seem to be our most popular.
Dave Engbers (Founders Brewing Company)
Our #1 selling beer is our Centennial IPA, followed by our Dirty Bastard Scotch Ale, which is kind of interesting because they’re opposite ends of the spectrum. One, the Centennial, is much more hop forward, and the Dirty Bastard is a big malt bomb. If Breakfast Stout were available throughout the year, that would be our #1 selling beer. All of our specialty beers are typically only available for a few days. It’s really tough to pinpoint what our #1 seller is. As far as volume, it’s Centennial IPA right now.
Grady Hull (New Belgium Brewing)
Fat Tire…It’s one of our original beers. It’s not the very first beer, but it’s a great beer. It’s balanced, it’s well-balanced, it’s fashioned after Belgian style ales like De Koninck which, I think are still popular in Belgium, because they’re balanced, well-rounded beers.
Brian Hunt (Moonlight Brewing)
Moonlight’s best selling beer is Death and Taxes…It’s one of the first ones I ever made, it’s unique, and it’s it’s pretty fucking tasty.
Pat McIlhenny (Alpine Beer Company)
Honestly, we couldn’t tell you what our top selling beer is because they all sell out fast, across the board. We’d have to have more beer available to see which one really sold out faster. They all sell out, every single one.
Victor Novak (TAPS Fish House & Brewery)
Cream Ale. It’s our light beer. I love it because it’s sort of near and dear to my heart. Growing up in Southern California, but brewed out in Philly. It’s different from a blonde, different from a Pils, a classic Philadelphia style, nice, light and smooth, but most brewpubs, even Yard House, with 150 beers on tap, our most popular style is a light lager, although this is a light ale. IPA’s coming up. IPAs everywhere are probably the biggest trending beer percentage-wise, in terms of popularity, of any style. So our IPA does well as well, but Cream Ale, probably the most popular.
Clay Robinson (Sun King Brewing)
Our top selling beer is Sunlight Cream Ale. It’s an American style cream ale, and it’s our top selling beer because it’s really accessible. It’s a great, sessionable summer style ale. It is our beer that I always tell people, “If your mother, brother, cousin or uncle don’t like craft beer, or don’t think they like craft beer, it’s a beer that they can try and it won’t be intimidating, but it’s the beer that we brew that’s super sessionable. It’s what I like to drink after I mow the lawn, and it’s what a lot of other people in our area drink. It outsells the other two house beers – not really 2:1 – Osiris and Wee Mac are probably 20-30% of sales, then the Sunlight.