I remember years ago when the Great Divide tasting room was a small, cozy spot where you could wander in and sample three excellent beers for free. When they expanded the room (took out an entire wall) and started charging $1 per sample I thought the two events were related. From PJ over at Denver off the Wagon:
In the middle of 2011, Great Divide realized they had an interesting problem. People had learned that small samples of the beer were free, and on a Friday night would pour into the taproom, slam a flight of high octane brew, and wander off to other locations of lesser repute. Call them frugal or hyenas, these were not the patrons the brewery hoped would fill their bar stools on a Friday evening. But what could a fledgling, 17 year old brewery do? To charge for samples would be disingenuous to their fans, friends, and future followers. To keep them free would be to attract these hooligans of the night.
This is a great example of how putting up the right “barriers” can help improve your business (plus more excellent local writing from the folks over at DOTW).