To some of you, those words evoke a very real, tangible, warm fuzzy feeling in your gut…to the rest, you may be “drawing a blank” right now (although the picture may have given it away), trying to figure out what the hell I’m talking about.
To just about any red, white, and blue American – although I’m sure it’s a world-wide phenomenon – warm, cold and free are THE three categories ANY beer can fall into. Your pilsners, lagers, stouts, porters, bitters…beers with a citrus, floral, or pine finish. Just keep it simple; and chances are that one of those categories is going to appeal to just about anyone.
Don’t get me wrong…I love craft beers. I visit my fair share of brewpubs. How can you not? They are just about as prevalent as Starbucks, or Subway. It is nearly impossible to not be able to hit the next nearest brewpub with a well-struck nine iron. Just six short years ago, there were roughly 2,000 craft breweries in operation. In 2016 there were over 5,300 – a staggering 165% increase. In South Bend alone we have eight – Bare Hands Brewery, Crooked Ewe Brewery & Ale House, Danny Boy Draft Works, Evil Czech Brewery, Granite City Brewery, Heavenly Goat Brewing Co., South Bend Brew Werks, and Studebaker Brewing Co. Not to mention the plethora of brewpubs just north of the “border” in Michigan (Bell’s Brewery in Kalamazoo produces my newest favorite, HopSlam Ale), or heading towards Chicago, listed in the top 10 cities by number of craft breweries (Three Floyd’s Zombie Dust is my go-to). And heaven-forbid if you visit HopCat, a restaurant and craft beer bar based in Grand Rapids – at a minimum you can find over 70 craft beers to choose from. It can be downright overwhelming.
Variety can be a good thing…if done right. But variety for variety’s sake is, more often than not, counterproductive. Especially in a manufacturing setting…which leads me to one of Barletta Pontoon Boats core philosophies.
Many of our competitors take pride in being able to provide you with a catalog (the subject of a future blog post) the size of a Webster’s dictionary that lists pages, and pages of floorplans, exterior color options, interior color options, upgrades, and so on. It looks impressive and probably sounds impressive from a new pontoon boat buyer’s perspective. But, have you ever tried to order one of these boats? What a nightmare!
One of the main reasons – in a lot of cases – for the extensive listing of available options is that there is a VERY short listing of standards included in the pontoon boat. Or, the standards that are included are of the most basic of offerings, and you would need the additional options or upgrades just to be able to use the boat.
“What’s that? You’d like a steering wheel at the helm? Absolutely! Just turn to page 75 of the helm upgrade options – make sure you select the right one, there’s ten of them - and it’s only an additional $500!”
That statement may have been a little bit of an exaggeration, but for those that really do the homework and compare Pontoon Brand “A” vs Barletta, it becomes painfully obvious.
At Barletta, we offer the most standards in the industry, bar none. If it should be standard on a pontoon boat, then you can bet your bottom dollar it WILL be standard on a Barletta Pontoon Boat.
I’ll spend some time in a future blog post talking about the second reason that too many options can cause more harm than good, especially during the ordering process.