Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Work goes on for new Flying Fish tasting room

You'll have to use your imagination for now, but at some point – around June – the construction work shown here will have transformed into a nicely appointed bar with 10 taps pouring Flying Fish beers for folks who visit the brewery's tasting room.

Flying Fish has been brewing in the new Somerdale location for a while now. But there are still some finishing touches being done to the brewery.

The tasting room is part of that; it's been under construction for a few weeks now. (There are also some new tanks coming.)

Something to note about tasting rooms: The Brewers Association mentioned last month in its state-of-the-industry presentation at the Craft Beer Conference that there's an uptick in sales out of breweries' tasting rooms. 

Here in New Jersey, last fall's change in the laws that governor craft brewing elevated the importance of tasting rooms for production brewers, creating the opportunity for a much more viable revenue stream.

Tasting rooms have always provided a good way to talk to the beer-drinking public.

But the difference now is, brewers don't have keep telling tour guests, "No, we can't serve you more than a sample" … "No, we can't sell you a case" … or "No, we can't sell you a keg." 

Beer enthusiasts can now get all of those things in a more accommodating visit that's not just about a sip of beer and buying T-shirts and glassware. And brewers can more effectively use their tasting rooms to launch new beers or hold events tabbed to whatever theme they can think of. (Not that they hadn't been doing that, but now the experience can be fuller and more satisfying to tour guests. )

EDITOR'S NOTE: The bottom photo is a shot from head brewer Casey Hughes' office overlooking the brewhouse and packaging areas.  

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