In 2016, the number of craft breweries in the US surpassed 5,000.1 The craft beer industry is big! Not to mention it’s an attractive market to get into (if you have the funds to do so), as the success rate of a brewery is almost 90%.2 With a greater number of craft breweries and more pro-brewery people speaking up, some not so friendly brewery laws have been rewritten allowing breweries to offer tastings and pint sales on site. Like any other business that receives customers, breweries are having to think not only about their core product (beer) but they also have to consider the items in the brewery that go with their beer. Say the products that help market and even complement their beer.
Today’s blog post will discuss a few marketing products that I think every brewery should have in their tasting rooms to go along with their beer. These complementary products are useful to help educate consumers about the beers, drive sales and hopefully keep the customers coming back. Note that while I use a brewery as my main example, these ideas (with slight tweaks) hold true for really any beverage company. With the popularity of craft distilleries on the rise, as well as wineries that have been providing tasting opportunities for consumers for a while, these concepts would be great to use in these industries too.
Presentation of Beverage Offerings
How do you want your customers to know the beverage options you are offering? Each establishment is different. Some opt for a large menu board for all to see, others prefer individual menus that can be handed to customers, and some do both. For those that opt for individual menus, there are countless options to choose from. Two options I like for breweries are:
1 – The Café Menu Cover – It’s basic and classic. For those reasons alone, I like this cover. Adding to the features I like about this cover, I also like it for the ease to change out inserts. This cover is available in one or multiple panels, which is great for those with larger menus (even food menus). While black is the standard menu cover trim color, opt for a different trim color if it better matches your establishment.
2 – Menu Boards – For the numerous options, styles and colors, I think the menu board is one of the most versatile menu presentation options. While the wood board option is my personal favorite as it will work with almost any décor, different colors and materials are also available. For any menu board style opt for the clipboard option or rubber bands option to secure your inserts. With either option, inserts are easy to change out.
Serving of Beverages
Pints – Pints are the most common serving option for beer. For your brewery, consider using branded glassware for further marketing of your brand. For your higher ABV (alcohol by volume) beers, you will want to also get smaller snifters for the smaller pours.
Tastings – When I go to a new brewery (or even to a brewery I have been to before), I like to sample different beverage options to see what I like from a brewery. Tastings usually consist of 4 – 4oz pours (of course this can vary by brewery and by state) of beer. For the presentation of your samples, opt for flight paddles. Flight paddles offer a more eye-catching presentation than just putting the glasses on the table. Flight paddles can come in different shapes, sizes and colors, and can also be branded with your logo.
Now that I love your brewery, I want to show others that I’m a fan. Having branded merchandise for sale in your brewery is a must. From shirts and sweatshirts, to smaller beer holders and openers, provide your customers with a few options to choose from. Also consider selling your glassware as well so your customers can enjoy a beverage (hopefully one of yours) at home.
These are just a few products marketing products that I believe can benefit your tasting room. What other marketing ideas and products do you use in your brewery?
1 – America Now Has a Record-High 5,000 Breweries and Counting. Fortune. December 10, 2016. Accessed January 6, 2017. http://fortune.com/2016/12/10/america-record-number-breweries/
2 – 3 Essential Business Growth Lessons from the Craft Beer Boom. CNBC. June 3, 2016. Accessed January 6, 2017. http://www.cnbc.com/2016/06/03/3-essential-business-growth-lessons-from-the-craft-beer-boom.html