Name: Anita Johnson
Company: Great Fermentations of Indiana
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
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
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
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.