It’s getting close to summer, the weather is getting warmer, and who doesn’t love a good pub lunch to break up the monotony of the daily grind? Great weather and a new brewpub that just opened up near my office, was screaming mid-day getaway. I wouldn’t label myself as a craft beer connoisseur, but I do enjoy tasting the local brews when traveling. Getting the chance to taste the quality of a local, small batch brewer’s work is always a great experience. While the craft beer industry has really taken off over the past few years, the trendsetting Boston Beer Company and its line of Samuel Adams only provides for a tiny fraction of the domestic beer market. Craft beers are still rare. Normally the chance to try a new craft beer only happens during vacations to big named spots, but getting the chance to try a new beer right down the street is exciting.

Off to lunch at Cigar City Brewing Company’s new brewpub on North Dale Mabry, we were greeted with the expected friendliness of the staff and a great clean modern brewpub environment. All three of us at the table ordered the Cuban sandwich and each a different house-crafted beer. Living in Tampa, I have had quite a few Cuban’s. This sandwich didn’t disappoint, and could stand against just about any other Cuban in town, but this isn’t a food review so I will stop digressing. The truth of the matter is that each of us really enjoyed the beers we ordered. From stouts to IPAs, Cigar City Brewing had a beer that suited each of our tastes.

Cigar City Brewing

Shortly after the beers touched down on our table, we each noticed that someone wearing a Cigar City Brewing shirt asked the waiter about the beers we ordered. Being a new restaurant, we thought it could be an inexperienced server trying to better his knowledge of the house products and dismissed the occurrence. Still, a minute later the same gentlemen who asked about our beers stopped by and requested to swap out the wheat bear that had been ordered with a new full beer. Why? The beer tasted great, it was cold, and the glass was clean. Whatever the beer lacked wasn’t noticeable to us at the table. The man, Cigar City Brewing’s Lead Brewer, Tim Ogden, went on to explain that this particular beer failed to meet his requirements for presentation and color due to a little extra cloudiness. It had been served from a recently tapped keg and, as a result, a little extra sediment made it through the line and into the glass. While nothing was bad about the beer, Tim wanted to ensure that every pint that he painstakingly crafted was served perfectly. Tim took the extra step to ensure even the tiniest of details that we, the customers, might overlook were up to his standards. What a great way to ensure that customers left the restaurant satisfied and raving about it to their friends.

The real magic to the story doesn’t just end with Tim ensuring the product served was up to standard. Instead of just fixing a problem and moving on, Tim took the time to prevent the same issue from happening again. Immediately after he left our table, cloudy beer in hand, Tim gathered the wait staff and bartenders. Keep in mind, this is in the middle of their lunch shift, they were busy. Once gathered, Tim took a few moments to reinforce Cigar City Brewing’s quality standards and taught the staff how to deliver a better product to their customers. He showed them the original cloudy beer next to a properly served beer, then went on to show them how to spot and fix the problem. WOW!

How many times have you seen a problem at work and just fixed it? Not taking the time to prevent future mistakes and quality failures, or settling for “just about” or “almost” great. Instead, if we took in this simple lesson from Tim the brewer and applied it to our own organizations, how many rework hours could be saved? How many customer relationships could we improve? How many clients could we convert to evangelists? This customer-minded pub highlights the idea that the value of quality is in the mindset of not lapsing in quality.


About the Author

Preston Jolly, CMRP

Preston has over 10 years of industrial experience related to the application of improvement techniques and leadership to maintenance and reliability efforts. He currently works for Technology Transfer Services, Inc. in Tampa FL as a Process Improvement Specialist and is certified by the Society of Maintenance and Reliability Professionals as a Certified Maintenance and Reliability Professional. Prior experience includes time in the US Navy as a nuclear trained Machinist’s Mate.

Recent projects at Technology Transfer Services include: providing guidance for the completion of a criticality assessment and maintenance strategy selection for the capital expansion of an offshore oil rig for an oil and gas supermajor, providing insight for a maintenance organization’s benchmarking effort through a client’s network of over 20 distribution centers and helping to map gaps identified through a skills assessment to a blended learning program.