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Lessons from the frontline

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Lessons from the front line were presented at Craft Brewer's Pow Wow 2017 in Cape Town. It asks the question, "What is stopping you from selling more beer?".It focuses Beer's Journey after it leaves the brewery and speaks to three themes. Why beer stops you from selling more beer highlights quality control. How beer real estate and route to market cannot be just an after thought. Resources need to be allocated to selling the beer. Thirdly how brewers need to invest in the people. Both consumers and frontline staff need to be enaged in the brand story.

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Lessons from the frontline

  1. 1. I am a foot soldier in the great beer revolution. I have witnessed the evolution of the revolution from building Beerhouse On Long in 2013 and another two Beerhouses in Gauteng. I have tasted and have been privy to the inner workings of the industry and have lesson from the frontline that I wish to share. The POW WOW is about the industry connecting, sharing and passing of knowledge to improve the industry and therefore add further to its long term success and I am privileged to be part of it. Lessons from the front line
  2. 2. Craft Brewers Golden Circle ( based on Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5Tw0PGcyN0) Why: You are passionate about beer How: You have built a brewery What: You brew beer HOW WHY HOW WHAT Why = The Purpose What is your cause? You are passionate about beer How = The Process Specify actions taken to realize the why You have built a brewery What = The Result What do you do? The result of Why. Proof You brew beer The Craft Brewer’s Golden Circle
  3. 3. “Sorry Simon I am going to cut you off right now.
  4. 4. QUESTION: what is stopping you from selling more beer? Request the audience turn to the person to your right and discuss this question. ( if on end then turn to left and join a group of three. I will be asking you for your feedback. Then select three from audience to raise one issue or theory for the above posed question. Use the feedback and thread into the following topics - What is stopping you from selling more beer?
  5. 5. QUESTION: Yes Beer can stop you from selling more beer? How does beer stop you from selling more beer. Poor quality management Not enough focus is given to the beer journey post leaving the brewery. Poor line and tap maintenance. Education of beer curatorship and understanding that it is a perishable product. For too long outlets owners and managers have been baby sat by SAB and are not empowered to take what really should be their responsibility. Outlets selling beer that is old. The consequences of this is dire as we have all heard the horror stories. “ Its what craft beer tastes like” Puts down the beer to returns to tried and tested ye old faithful macro lager. Beer
  6. 6. QUESTION: What are the solutions to stop this? Best before or brewed on Dates added to bottles. Study BJCP, cicerone and sensory courses - understand beer faults THEN train outlets on these for early detection. Regular checking of quality at outlets – I have brewers come in when delivering and tasting off the tap Smaller breweries forming a quality co-op team that specialises in tap and line maintenance.
  7. 7. RED OCEAN OR BLUE OCEAN: Too many breweries are creating a range based on what will sell. They look at the tried and tested and jump into shark invested waters were brewers are all fighting for the same market. Success lies in differentiating your brand through the beers you brew. QUESTION: Can anyone name an international brand that you believed jumped to the right? (Firestone Walker) What did they do and did that define they success?
  8. 8. Known for its Double Barrel Ale, the brewery sets itself apart with its Firestone Union system based on an 1800s style of British beer-making. The Burton Union is a recirculating fermentation system that requires multiple barrels. Firestone Walker believes it’s the only brewery in the United States using that method. The No. 1 reason was local support trial and error. perseverance.
  9. 9. QUESTION: Can anyone name an local brand that has jumped to the right? (Devils Peak) What did they do and did that define they success? Answer: Producing a West Coast Style IPA when everyone was drinking lager. The No. 1 reason was local support trial and error. perseverance.
  10. 10. QUESTION: Why would real estate: shelf space and counter space stop us from selling more beer? Brew Pubs – answer to this issue and the cornerstone for the American success story. Very few and far between in South Africa. EG: Afro Caribbean and Copperlake SO you have a whole lot of beer being made but not many places to push the volume through. The market has become cluttered and competition is strong. I remember when I was first putting a beer menu together. - 99 bottles marketing story We are starting to see brewers go out of business as there is no where to sell there beer and the weekend markets is just not sustainable. A misunderstanding of how important the route to market and marketing is providing fatal to many brewing business. Many brewers focus on the product and neglect the fact that it actually needs to be sold. Some brewers put to much emphasis on marketrering and brandings and forget the product. I argue they are equally important and vital to your business survival. Real Estate
  11. 11. ANSWER: With this rise in number of breweries - The ability to stand out becomes more difficult, shelf space is harder to come by and sales even more competitive. What is the solution? If a great beer was made in a forest but no one knew about it, was it a great beer?
  12. 12. Answer: People Question: Who are the people involved in selling Beer volumes? Frontline Staff People are essential to your to selling more beer. Not just customers which is a strong focus of the breweries marketing clout. Experience is what people seek now. Access to that experience is very dependent on how its framed and presented People
  13. 13. QUESTION: How do you get your beer to stand out against all the competition? How does a consumer choose between tap A & tap B ? Is it the well designed label that exudes your brands story and ambitions? Yes it does. But more powerful is the the product. Is it the seductive aromas, the hallucinogenic hue, the complex symphony of flavours and the sensory mouthfeel? Yes it is. ANSWER: This is conveyed by a A B
  14. 14. Curatorship of brand belongs not in your hands but in the hands that pour the pint or open the bottle. To insure your brand story is being told correctly, invest in your outlets , not with coasters and bar mats. You can’t compete here with macro brewery brands. Your investment in your brand story and image gets told through the people. This is micro-brewing secret weapon. Train and incentivize these people
  15. 15. The power of a small incentive. Case of beer = 300% increase– during incentive and 30% increase. That from one case investment. Maximum long term traction The power of a low cost incentive
  16. 16. The other people – THE CONSUMERS Choice and variety can be complex and negatively effect the experience. We have seen that at Beerhouse. Panic descsions etc etc. QUESTION: What is the best way to inform consumer? ANSWER: Education:. Consumer education is key. It takes a village to raise a child. Its takes a beer community to educate the consumer. We are in our infancy and so are our consumers. We need to allocate continual resources to training, nurturing and educating. IDEAS: Eben from Mad Giant (JHB) – paying for outlet staff to take Cicerone Certified Beer Server course Providing menu builders with bite size information that is not standard tasting note typical of wine, that can be included in restaurant and bar menus. Free tastings at bars hosted by brewers Open days at breweries for consumers League of beers is a great example of providing variety packaged with information and education through physical info and online tasting league. “Life is like a League of Beers box, you just never know what you going to get next”.
  17. 17. Top 10 tap sales at Beerhouse On Long April. RED SKY PALE ALE CBC PILSNER LIEFMANS FRUITESSE DEVILS PEAK PALE ALE KOPPARBERG APOLLO BLONDE CBC AMBER WEISS BLACK LABEL CASTLE LITE JACK BLACK LAGER
  18. 18. New Craft Brewers Golden Circle Why: You are passionate about making good beer How: By focusing on the beer’s journey after it leaves the brewery What: Educating consumers and frontline staff through training and incentives. New Craft Brewers Golden Circle Why: You are passionate about making good beer How: By focusing on the beer’s journey after it leaves the brewery What: Educating consumers and frontline staff through training and incentives. WHY HOW WHAT Why = The Purpose What is your cause? Educating consumers and frontline staff through training and incentives. How = The Process Specify actions taken to realize the why By focusing on beer’s journey after it leaves the brewery What = The Result What do you do? The result of Why. Proof Selling volumes of quality beer The Craft Brewer’s Golden Circle
  19. 19. And that ladies and gentlemen is how you get your beer up the mountain. Lets sell more beer www.beerwhisperer.co.za

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