Less than 0.01% of the U.S. drinking age population are on BeerAdvocate; I’d estimate that around 5% of our customers participate on BeerAdvocate.There’s a lot of potential to reach more beer lovers // that’s a lot of people who just don’t know how this world of beer works.Washington has drinking population of 4,342,353. At 36,000 customers per year, that’s 0.8% of population, if unique visitors…but many are repeat customers.At 20,000 people visiting RateBeer daily, that’s a lot of beer-loving folks out on the web… potential audience!Malt beverage & microbrewery states … you have a lot of readership potential!
Limited/rare beers. Seasonals. Rotating releases. This is really confusing to the majority of consumers…even beer bloggers!
When we first opened, my brother asked, “What’s it like to be a legal drug dealer?” Yes, beer is a controlled substance. This means we can’t get all beers people want. It’s got to legally come into the state.
Beer as a controlled substance doesn’t work like other products. Beer prices simply aren’t increased and shipped to the market that can pay the most. Product freshness & viability is key. Local markets get product first.
Networking with Local Retailers Beer Merchant – Beer Blogger Relationship
Who are we serving / writing for?• Number of legal drinking age in USA: 223,058,247• 36% drinkers prefer wine, 35% beer (Source: Gallup Poll 2011, Do you most often drink beer, wine, or liquor? )• Active BeerAdvocates: 285,000 (less than 1% of drinking population)• Unique daily visitors to RateBeer: 20,000• RateBeer users: 75.5% Men, 27.5% Women• Top 10 states receiving “malt beverage” shipments: California, Texas, Florida, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, North Carolina, Georgia (Source: Beer Institute, 2011)• Top 10 “malt beverage” consuming states, per capita: North Dakota, Nevada, New Hampshire, Montana, New Mexico, Wisconsin, South Dakota, Texas, Louisiana, Wyoming (Source: Beer Institute, 2011)• Top 10 states with most microbreweries: California, Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, New York, Illinois, Texas (Source: Brewers Association, 2010)• 99 Bottles beer store in Washington State serves over 3,000 beer lovers monthly, and over 1,140 customers have purchased at least 99 bottles
#1 Question Posed to Beer Retailers• Do you have (insert beer name here) ? – Sometimes we have it…Yeah!! – Seasonal or rotating releases – Extremely limited, rare, or sold out – Waiting for release… yeast don’t always run by human schedules – At brewery only and/or a few select accounts – Many times the requested beer doesn’t come into our state or country… “If anyone has it, you will…”
You can’t always get what you want. • Licensed to sell/pour • Import reporting* • No bootlegging *In Washington State: must have direct- ship license endorsement; only able to work with out-of-state breweries with Washington Certificate of Authority.End of prohibition beginsgovernment control– Federal licensure of breweries, distributors, importers/exporters– Federal control of labeling– State licensure of breweries, distributors, importers/exporters, and retailers; pricing /advertising controlsContrary to popular belief, this this isn’tthe #1 reason you can’t get that beer…
Why you really can’t get that beer. Retailers can’t pull that beer out of a hat. Breweries expand where their products (not just one “hot” item) are most viable. • High demand, low production = Beer sells out quickly or brewery can’t provide any to us. • Low demand = Brewery or beer leaves the market. • Increased demand in other regions = Brewery may pull out and leave our market. • Breweries care about fresh product!#1 Reason: Supply & Demand– Demand for delicious craft beer increases as it mainstreams– High-demand products – Already selling what they produce – Only one or two “Hot” beers sought “America has 2,051 – Viable business expansion breweries; 2,000 of which – Sustainable markets are craft breweries.”– Low-demand products —CraftBeer.com, April 30, 2012 – Demand wasn’t there to sustain – Pull out of market
#2 Question Posed to Beer Retailers• Can you get (insert beer name here) for me? – People think we can call up a brewery and have it shipped if they commit to a case or two. – They don’t realize beer’s a controlled substance.
How beer gets to you: 3-Tiered Supply Chain(99.9% of the time your bottle shop can’t call up a brewery and have it delivered.)
#3 Question Posed to Beer Retailers• What’s your favorite? (Can you help me choose?) – Not sure what to buy; overwhelmed by selection – Don’t understand simple concepts about beer styles “I don’t care for ales, but I like stouts.” “I don’t like dark beers like IPAs.” “I don’t like lagers, but I normally drink Coors.” – Guidance for their taste buds, small retailers aren’t driven by corporate quotas – Many are shopping with beer lists from retailer website/ newsletter, magazine articles and blogs – Some beer bloggers recommend to other customers when visiting their local bottle shops… Cool!
#4 Question Posed to Beer Retailers• What’s it taste like? – Beer reviews! Keep ‘em coming, but get creative… – Provide points of reference: “If you like this Blue Moon, you should also try Avery White Rascal, Issaquah White Frog, Blanche des Bruxelles, Alaskan White,…” – A layman’s guide to beer flavors – Hops doesn’t necessarily mean bitter – Dark doesn’t necessarily mean deeply roasted – Ingredients contribute to mouthfeel – Temperature’s affects on flavors – Picture book of similar flavors (chocolate + coffee = Mocha Porter) – Tasting events! – Collaboration opportunities
Questions & Misconceptions• Beer is as fragile as milk. • What are these growler things? “How long is okay to sit in car?” • How long does growler last• All craft beer is expensive. (traditional vs. CO2 fill)?• Why is barrel-aged beer more • Why is some beer draft only? expensive? • Lots of issues cleaning growler• What beer to drink with certain jugs! Mold terrariums. foods? • How to tap a keg?• What beer is best for cooking? • How to setup a kegerator?• How to have a tasting party? • Does it work? (nucleation etch• How to plan amount of beer for glasses, bottle stoppers, etc.) party, wedding, or event? • How to get beers not available?• I don’t like beer, but want to learn Trade. Travel. Black Market(?). to like it. Can you help? How to ship beer?
Networking with Local Retailers• Connect with your local bottle shops & drinking places – Are they aware of your blog? – Can you share promotional materials with their customers?• Retailers will share posts relevant to their customers – Shared links builds your audience – More readers = greater credibility in the beer world• Attend & promote special tasting events – Especially “meet the brewer” activities – Get tidbits of info & take photos to share with your readers• Reference your retailers as appropriate – Untappd: Reference @Brewery and @Retailer for tweets – RateBeer: Add distribution (retail) source – Blog: Be careful not to be overly exclusive
Customer Needs: The 4 Es of Retail• Education — See top 10 questions!• Entertainment & Engagement & Encouragement – Make it fun! Share your personal experiences & passion for beer! Be the beer lifestyle reality star! Take lots of pictures. Tell us about the quirky things. Let your readers live vicariously through you — and seek out beers you drink. – People like to shop with lists! Consider different ways to present lists: The Late Show Top 10, Real Time with Bill Maher’s New Rules, Things to do before you die (life lists), Best Of lists, Top beers for various daily activities,… – Continue to write beer reviews. Demonstrate how easy it is to do tastings & pairings. Fear of the unknown is the #1 thing stopping people from trying new things, including beer.