This means dealing with people we've sometimes never met before. Now, they might be one of the nicest people you've ever met, which includes a lot of people in our industry, but it's all about the product for me(generally).
There are certain ways to go about picking a brewery to sell, it's not as random as you'd think, there are a lot of factors to consider.
Price - it sounds funny coming from someone who's sold expensive beers at The Rake and Tap East but price is a big factor in the way we pick beers. Especially with Gideon doing his best to carry on the legacy of recent politicians fucking the economy.
Availability - Sounds a bit obvious doesn't it but how often have I ordered beer that's supposedly a year round beer and found it unavailable? Too often. Usually the bullshit is, 'it's too in demand'. Usually the truth is 'You forgot you sold it so haven't brewed it recently'.
Taste - Yes, the beer has to be at least drinkable. You can sell any beer once to a customer but you'll never sell a rubbish beer twice. I'd prefer if you just sold me fucking amazing beer though, pretty please.
Customers - Who am I going to sell this beer to? Will it be wholesale? Retail? Both? Know your market, it makes the job of saying no to people quite easy.
Branding - Yes, I'm almost ashamed (not quite but almost) to admit that branding does sell beer. It shouldn't, should it? But it does. For instance I will tend to stay away from labels with photographs, sexist labeling, that would include beers/drinks targeted towards women, as most women I know are not interested in some fluffy branded alcopop. Also breweries that think having a 'giggle-inducing' name will sell the beer, no folks 'Mr Jones, Man-Titties' (for a poor example) will not be getting any orders if you were thinking of naming a beer that.
Those are the basic rules I go by, I rarely taste fucking amazing beer anymore and the more I buy for wholesale the less beer I drink, I know that may sound outlandish considering this blogs writer but it is actually true.
Of course I could just be getting all responsible in my old age.