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Research on Craft Brewer


A qualitative research diving into the motivation of craft brewers.


Understand the passion found in beer brewing and starting a brewery to find insights for design opportunities.

Big Question

The Team


We chose individuals who have started their own brewery and/or are supporting these individuals directly. Both categories of people needed to have a strong affinity toward beer.

As four person team, we each rotated through the role of interviewer, documentarian, photographer, and filmer for six interview cycles.

Research Methodologies

  • Pile Sort

    Arrange these pictures in a order that make sense to you.

    Find out how these people dealt with challenges to their passion. What struggles and victories have they faced?

  • Timeline Exercise

    Take us through a day in your life, indicating your feelings.

    Find out what motivates these individuals. Why are they brewing?

  • Image Deck

    Choose two cards that represent you the most.

    Find out how these people see themselves. How have they changed through the experience of starting a brewery?

Mind Mapping & Analysis

After all the interviews, we started our analysis phase by using KJ method and mind mapped everything we learned.


These exercises helped us to analyze the findings through different lenses.

  • POEMS Framework
  • User Experience Framework
  • Ethnographer’s Questions
  • User Experience Journey Map
  • Social Order Questions
  • Metaphor
  • PNSTIO Framework

Insights & Opportunities

Not Enough Money

Need money, but don’t want to chase them and loose track.

Experimenting Time

Love focusing on experimenting but it reduces efficiency.

Equipment Limitation

Lean on their adaptability to niche tools and equipment.

Fluctuations in Customers

Customers don’t come all the time due to priorities.

Beer’s Freshness Date

Goes bad in 1 month. Brewers rank quality over profit.

Against the Big Threes

Unique recipes are a way to stand out. Uniqueness creates strong affinity.

Reaching Wider Audience

The “Story” of a beer is an important factor to pair with taste.

Validation Comes Slowly

Hard to see the big picture, which leads to stress.

Cleaning Takes Time

Tend to over clean because cleanliness affects product directly.


To Lovers of craft beer, and to those who brew, we say thank you, and cheers!

In an attempt to maintain a level of integrity built from their beginnings, brewer’s work within limitations, and power through these challenges with fortitude, and celebrate experimentation to create roots and legacy for their beer brewing business.

Very Special Thanks to:

[team Craft Brewer]

  • Martin F.
  • Hiroshi S.
  • Sean W.
  • Katherine B.
  • Wil D.
  • Stephen K.
  • Scott L.
  • Eric M.
  • Jonathan P.
  • Jason S.

for Interviews, Advice, and Support.