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Customer Profile

Name: Anita Johnson
Company: Great Fermentations of Indiana
Title: President
What is in your fridge? A homebrewed kolsch, Kalamazoo Stout and New Glarus Red.

Describe your company
Great Fermentations is a retail homebrew shop located in Indianapolis. Since the first of the year we have had a small web presence but hope to grow that part of our business.

What is your role with Great Fermentations?
At Great Fermentations, "President" is a fancy title for someone who has the opportunity to do every job in the company. From computer issues, to marketing and advertising to cleaning, I get to do it all. However, my favorite aspect of owning the company is helping customers.

What is your best-selling product?
Besides beer ingredients, probably the best-selling item in the store is Fermtechís Auto-Siphon. This is a simple, well-designed, well-priced gadget that solves siphoning problems for both the beer and wine maker.

What product do you wish would sell better?
We sell a lot of kegging systems, but I wish we sold even more. The pain of cleaning, sanitizing, filling and capping bottles drives many people out of the hobby. I like to say that kegging makes the hobby fun again.

What do you like about your job?
I really love the customers. We are very "high touch" at our store and get to know customers pretty well. Great Fermentations is kind of like Cheers, we know everybodyís name and story.

Why did you decide to enter the beer business?
I have always loved good, flavorful beer, even in college, before the craft beer revolution. Back then I was enjoying Augsberger Dark from Wisconsin. About 10 years ago a friend of mine invited my husband and I over to sample his homebrew. When I tasted that first pint, I was hooked. Brewing became my passion.

What kinds of jobs have you had in the past?
I sold medical diagnostic tests and lab equipment in a territory that covered all of South America and the Caribbean.

What do you like about the brewing world?
I really enjoy the camaraderie. The passion for good beer and brewing seems to unite the community.

What is your educational background?
I have a bachelorís in business management from the Indiana University School of Business and a minor in Portuguese.

What do you think about the state of the industry?
The focus of the homebrew market is migrating from beer to wine kits. Our store went from a product mix of 95% beer sales to 60%. I also see that the remaining shops are stronger, better-run businesses and are more regional, rather than local, in scope.