Murray Croft said that one of the things that people like about their home-style process is the great savings. “Beer is just over half the cost of store-bought and wine is about a third of the price,” he stated.
“When people are faced with what variety to choose, we always ask what they normally buy. It gives us an idea of the quality, type and style of the kind of wine or beer they like, and then we talk about the various kit qualities and the length of time they take to make.
“We may not be able to duplicate a certain winery’s wine exactly, but we can come up with something comparable,” he continued.
He said that their customers say that they love the taste, the price and the whole experience. “They appreciate that it’s a nice atmosphere – warm and welcoming,” he said. “We take anyone who’s interested on a tour of the whole operation. People love to see what’s involved in making their favourite wine or beer.”
Murray bought the business in 2007, and although that was his first experience in retail, he took to it like heat to a shrink wrap on a bottle of Merlot. “I really enjoy interacting with customers and making them happy,” he explained.
He added that he enjoyed making beer and wine in his basement since 1980, and still has some of those bottles in his wine cellar at home. Some of his home-styled wines won awards. “I’ve always been interested in the process, and now I get to share that interest and that passion with others,” he said.
There’s never a dull moment at Crofts Brewing, according to Murray, who said that the whole industry is constantly growing and changing. “Wines change a lot – the varieties and the regions and the environmental influences – I learn a lot every day and that’s part of what I really like about this.”