As we said in our last post on Fetish Brewing Company they are a Community Supported Brewery or what want to call a CSB. This means that “members” pay “dues” to have access to the beers that they produced. The advantage of this system is that the brewery knew that they were going to “sell” their inventory because they have essentially sold it all up front. Another advantage is that is adds a certain mystique to their beers. After two years of brewing in Lancaster County I have only had a small tasting of their
Ghost Pepper beer. This adds an air of exclusivity and membership to being able to sample their beers.
The downside to this arrangement is that a CSB membership requires a lot of trust. Much like being a member of a CSA you have to hope that the next delivery is worth the price of membership to you. If you are paying money for a monthly delivery and month after month you feel disappointed in the beer that’s come to your home you will grow disenchanted, quickly. Having a months supply of the beer equivalent of leeks is no fun. If you aren’t into spicy beers having a months supply might be undesirable.
While I think Fetish Brewing Company has done a remarkable job of keeping membership up by having a sterling reputation for creating interesting and tasty beers they have simultaneously grown to the point of being able to expand beyond their original business model. All of those downsides to getting into Fetish beers are gone.
Last week they began actual commercial distribution. They are starting small with having their Spelt Fetish at
The Fridge. This Belgian farmhouse saison is a popular option and fits well with the upcoming fall months. At
Crush, the bar above
Carr's Restaurant near central market they are also selling this first public Spelt release.
CBS members need not fear. They still get top and first billing when it comes to Fetish’s beer but this expansion into a few shops here in town means that eager drinkers, like myself, who feel they need a bit more Fetish in their lives can get there without having to be fully committed. I’m called myself a philandering drinker before. A man fearful of a single commitment to any beer and one more option only further proves that variety is indeed to ghost pepper spice of life.