Oysters and Beer - Part 1

A while back, hidden at the end of a post on beer revenue, I mentioned the “oyster” concept, championed by brewery owner extraordinaire, Tom Hennessy.  This idea relates to the vision for the brewery space and how to translate that into an inviting and comfortable place to drink a beer.  As I have harped on since the beginning, getting people to drink pints at the brewery is absolutely critical to succeeding early on.  Great beer is a must, but providing a fantastic space to drink that beer is where the magic happens.  In his book, Tom talks about the 5 components of oyster creation:

  1. Lighting

  2. Music

  3. Temperature

  4. Cleanliness

  5. Stage Setting

Let’s say you are super smart and have developed a line of fluoridated beers that reduce tooth decay while you drink it.  To play on this, you are going to make your tasting room look like the most comfortable place on earth, a dentist office.  Let’s see how the oyster concept plays out:

Lighting gives you an opportunity to make a subtle but critical statement on the quality of your space.  According to Tom, you want to stay away from fluorescent bulbs and put the lights on a dimmer.  Working that into your theme, you install retina-scorching LED lights on adjustable arms at each table.  The style of music you choose sets the mood and sound-wise, you will want to keep the volume at right around speaking level.  With the dentist theme you have a bunch of options depending on how cool your dentist is - from tiki music to Taylor Swift.  To make it ultra-authentic, it should be interrupted occasionally with the sound of the tooth drilling.  

I think this concept is starting to take shape!  

With temperature, typically you want it adjusted according to what is going on outdoors - a little colder than usual if it is hot outside and and a little warmer if it is cold outside.  The dentist theme makes this part easy - blast the AC regardless of the weather.  Cleanliness also lends itself perfectly to this theme - everything is kept sterile, as you would like it in a brewery.  You provide each customer with a clip-on, blue paper bib and if anything gets spilled, it gets sucked up with the little mouth vacuum the hygienist uses.

Finally we get to stage setting, which is where everything comes together.  The pub is your movie set and you are the art director.  Your dentist office pub gets the full treatment - motel-quality art, lots and lots of white paint, a stained drop-ceiling and home decorating magazines from 2011.  The stage is set, customers will roll in and your Listerine Lager will sell itself!

Design Inspiration Board

Design Inspiration Board

All of this is nice to talk about, but you are probably thinking “Hey cool post John, that dentist theme sounds awful. What is Wild Parrot going to look like?”  Well stick around until Part 2 and you will get an idea.  Hint: not dentist themed.  Over the past few months, I have been working with an architect on some concept plans and renderings of what the brewery and pub is envisioned to look like.  Since there is no actual space yet, these drawings are intended to give an idea of what the oyster could look like.  Stay tuned.

Quick Update - Lots of irons in the fire.  We are finalizing our valuation for the securities documents, getting our corporate binder reviewed to make sure it is all ship-shape, working on pulling together our own investment cash, and still praying nobody opposes our trademark so we can get started on phase 2 (custom lettering) of the new logo.  The phase one portion (the Wild Parrot mascot) is a few pen strokes from being finished!