Like most people in the coffee industry, our café struggles after 4pm when people's tastes change from caffeine to well something other than caffeine. The problem that most of the people in the coffee culture are trying to answer is how to continue to operate our businesses profitably after 4pm.
Industry wide there is a movement to add food, alcoholic drinks and the like the to our menus to offer people in the afternoon hours. We have been exploring this too.
We contacted a local beer brewer in our area and started talks. Alex stopped by and checked out our bar to see if something like this could even physically be feasible. We talked for a bit and then he invited me to stop by His place if I had a chance. Being a craft beer lover, I jumped at the chance of touring his place. I would not be disappointed.
The brewery was probably not unlike other brew houses around the world. They had vats full of bubbling and simmering hops, mash and the like. Carbon gases flowing, the smell of fermenting starches in the air. The place was a beer drinkers paradise.
Alex would spend the next half hour walking me through the cycle of life of beer. Something was happening though throughout the whole experience. You see I was so captivated by the depth of knowledge I was getting from Alex. I mean this guy is a master brewer. That it made me want to get back to my own roaster and get intimately involved with her. (Sheila our coffee roaster)
My love for coffee and how complex and varied its dimensions were heightened as a result of a chance tour of a beer brewery. My desire to produce that perfect cup of java was thrust back into the front my conscious mind after not just tasting a few samples of dark ale (boy was that good stuff) but because coffee is incredibly complex in itself and deserves as much attention as any other drink.
With every step that I took in Alex’s brewery, my interest and passion for my chosen field became all that more important and deserving of attention. Finding connections doesn't require proper planning or manipulation. It may just require us to get out of our comfort zone and experience something new.