You don’t only need to make good beer; you also have to sell it.”

“You don’t only need to make good beer; you also have to sell it.”

This is a two part blog on various methods breweries utilize to get people to visit their establishments, plus methods to keep them coming back. With all the new craft breweries opening and closing, how does one distinguish oneself to get patrons in the door? Marketing and retention are now equally as important as making quality beer. As Great Grandfather Saccharo said, “You don’t only need to make good beer; you also have to sell it.” The Myces family isn’t exactly known for its charisma and salesmanship, so his brewery along with his professional wrestling career was doomed from the beginning. This motto may not have held true from the 90’s into the early aughts, but now you MUST make good beer AND be able to sell it, unless you are Corona, and have a multi-million dollar marketing budget. Just google “Corona worst tasting beer” and 290,000 pages come up for crying out loud.

Jay said it best when discussing how Tallgrass failed. Most breweries have figured out how to make really good beer. The problem is getting people to drink it when they have 7,000 breweries to choose from. Today I am going to discuss some different methods breweries have chosen to get @$$es in the seats.

1. This should be a no brainer, but this wasn’t always the case. Make GOOD beer and do it from day one. “Well back in my day…..” [old man voice] there were very limited brewery options in Kansas City. Not to mention most mid-westerners, myself included, didn’t know what good beer was. This allowed for some very questionable beers to be sold locally, and if a brewery had six months or so of growing pains secondary to opening too soon, they could still survive and eventually thrive. Today, with so much competition you need to make high quality beer from day one.

2. A rising tide lifts all boats. This method is self explanatory. Surround yourself with other quality breweries and you can all help each other. You can share equipment, collaborate, organize pub crawls, split shipments of grain and hops, etc. This is evident in your craft beer “neighborhoods.” See the Crossroads and North Kansas City.

3. If you build it, they will come. This is another tried and true method, discussed in our craft beer desert essay. We also discussed Levi Garrison and Dubious Claims in “Who wants a road trip”. If you are the only craft beer in town, people will find you.

Stay tuned for our next blog on how to get patrons coming back to your brewery.

Brett A. Myces

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