Marketing for Microbreweries
A beginner’s guide from:
The Beer Talking Marketing Company
The market place for micro-breweries
There has been a dramatic increase in the number of
microbreweries in the UK in the past decade.
Brewers come from a variety of backgrounds with a passion
and love for creating exciting new flavours and brews but
some lack the important business skills that will make their
enterprise a success.
The correct and appropriate branding and marketing of
your brewery and its products is as much a key to your
success as the taste and quality of your beers
To be a successful brewer you need to have quality product,
that is an absolute and no amount of marketing will sell a
bad pint but good marketing can help sell a lot more of a
Marketing for breweries
The average consumer is not going to look on-line for a
beer to drink, the choice is made often on the spur of the
moment so the overall ethos of brewery marketing is to
ensure product is in the right place and then is seen by
consumer to be desirable.
So any evaluation of brewery marketing breaks down into:
Getting your product placed
Getting your product noticed.
Building brand loyalty for your product to ensure repeat
To ensure both the product must be desirable to the end
Know your target market
Before any form of marketing is considered you need to
consider the following:
What are you selling–what is the spirit of your product ?
Who are selling to?
What is the age range and social/gender demographic?
Will you be looking to sell in bottle or cask?
What is going to be your defining feature
Remember that before a drop is touched we drink with our
eyes and so your whole brand has to be thought through
and conceived before any time or expense is incurred and
possibly wasted on half-baked ideas and bad planning.
Have a story and tell it.
You need to distinguish your brewery from the others.
Tell the tale of the brewery, what inspired you to take the leap of faith
and head out on your own, be personal – one of the recognised selling
points for the smaller brewer is provenance; what is the background to
the beer, who is making it and why.
An identifiable logo or character or branding is essential for success.
Look around at other succesful brands.
Brewdog and its equity for punks may seem a million miles from the
bucolic idyll of Wensleydale but they are both relevant to the market
they are chasing.
Avoid the gimmicky, the childish/sexist and the crass – you can alienate
a large potential customer base with a badly thought through concept
Brewing good beer is no longer enough to guarantee a successful
future; a solid marketing plan is required.
Being noticed and bought
Your product needs to provoke immediate response, not a
‘think about it’ product
Initial response based upon sight, recommendation (peer
and on-line), price, curiosity, strength etc.
As competition grows so does the need to ensure your
product stands out:
Bottle shape and content size
Labelling – increase in number of youth market so
design is important, avoid sexist images – there is an
increase in number of female drinkers so why alienate
an increasing customer base with offensive images.
Have a sense of fun and adventure with your product
Look at an overall brand that ties in with social media
and the ‘club’ mentality; people who buy your beer need
to feel special.
Getting to market
Supermarkets – as the interest in craft ale increases then
the chances of placement via the supermarkets increase.
Approach the supply manager with samples
Beerfestivals – check out CAMRA’s list of beerfestivals and
apply to be a selected ale.
Approach local community organistaions that hold the
appropriate licence and be supplier to their bar
Approach mail order beer companies and see if they are
prepared to stock your bottles as part of their gift/special
Non–tied houses will be interested in carrying your product.
Join forces with other local brewers and stage your own
Areas to consider: online and offline
Offline marketing – the more traditional ways of reaching
Point of Sale
Word of mouth
Trade shows – representation at beer festivals
Online marketing – do not ignore the digital age
Social Media – facebook/twitter/tumblr/Youtube
Online advertising – facebook/google
Blogging – give advise on brewing and show your
Social media-be social and
interact with others
Facebook – create a fan page and generate content –
respond and interact with customers and followers, listen to
what they are saying
Twitter – follow and interact – check who is following the
big players and follow them and they will reciprocate
Pinterest – use images of product to generate interest
Email database – use Mailchimp – free and effective
provide updates and offers; make the recipient want to
receive and open them – check stats.
Link your social media together so that tweets and posts
show on your website and encourages site viewers to follow
you in other media formats.
Use of video – sell yourself
Setting up a Youtube account is straightforward
Youtube will host your videos for no cost and you can
embed (show) them on your website
Use video to tell your story and engage with the public; tell
your tale and give product information, recipe ideas and
Use descriptive title – use correct keywords (tags) – full
description: all assist with promotion to top of search
People buy from people – video can show provenance
Hits to your video on both site and Youtube help with
Google is Youtube
PR – get the press without the
Press space is an invaluable and inexpensive way of getting
your name out there but you need to have a story on which
to hang your press release. Have you named a brew in
honour of a local figure or sporting hero or forthcoming
event? Does your brewery have you a special anniversary
coming up ?
Find something interesting about your business and
accompany it with a correctly annotated photograph.
If you are having a tasting session invite the local press to
Your loyal customers are your fans and like fans of a team or a
band they will want to show their appreciation, support and
loyalty by wearing your brand and, in doing so, they are
advertising your product. I know, crazy isn’t it… they pay you
to promote your beer.
If you are not producing quality, eye catching merchandise
then you are leaving money on the table.
Make sure you use quality promotional materials and have
an eye-catching design; you want people to want to wear
your logo and to feel good when they do it.
Don’t just think t-shirts; how about a branded bag for life
that you give away with x number of bottles bought?
Branded gift vouchers are a great way of getting new
customers and selling product to existing customers
Go for it ……
There is a whole wide world of beer drinkers out there and
the numbers just keep on growing. To make sure that you
don’t get left behind you need to be imaginative and
For help and advice with all aspects of your marketing have
a word with us. We can help you focus your ideas and
concepts and more importantly implement them in an
effective and economical way to make sure that your beer
is the one that both the discerning drinker and the
interested passer-by wants to try.
Call 0797 102 1268 today.
Thanks and cheers.
Mike Massen – The Beer Talking Marketing Company