Summer is the unofficial season of the craft beer festival. (And certainly, one of our favourite seasons at Rocket Badge!) Every weekend, a number of beer festivals pop up across the UK, featuring products from top breweries, brand new craft brewers and smaller, local tap rooms. No matter the size or age of your brewery, if you want to make a splash amongst the competition, events should be a key component of your brewery marketing strategy. Hosting or participating in events can help you build your brand, promote your beer and reach new customers. In this post, we share some ideas on how to enhance your events and pump up your marketing efforts through creative food pairings, collaboration brews and even beer swag. Read on for a few examples from some of the top breweries and events this year.
Pair Beer with Food
We often associate wine with food pairings like meat and cheese. But beer has the same quality and can be paired with foods to enhance the taste of both. For your next event, think ahead and get creative with your cuisine, perhaps with a BBQ or by selling craft sausages? Your attendees will experience something unique (and tasty), which will help your beer brand be that much more memorable. If you’re stuck on ideas, try seeking out seasonal or local produce or tie your food pairings to the theme of the event or a holiday.
Another idea is to incorporate your beer into the actual food, as part of the recipe! For example, you might sell a special mussels-in-beer dish at your event or offer samples of mustards or sauces made out of your beer. For more inspiration, check out this collection of recipes that incorporate beer from the BBC. If you have enough time, consider preparing and packaging the beer food products in advance and sell these items for additional revenue at your event.
Think Outside the Tap Room
A common misconception of brewery events is that they have to be held in the tap room or on established festival grounds. This is no longer true. Think outside the pub to plan a creative event that might draw brand new customers to your beer. One cool example is the much-anticipated Independent Manchester Beer Convention in October. It’ll be held in the historic Victoria Baths, which opened in 1906 and feature a stunning space filled with stained glass and glazed tiles. Talk about a memorable place for a pint, especially for fans of history and architecture.
There’s no shortage of creative concepts for beer events. Camden Town Brewery, for example, combines two popular outlets – a running club and beer drinking – into a cool “Run Like Hells” event. It’s a free weekly social run for people of all abilities that starts and ends at the brewery – participants even get a free beer at the finish line.
Getting your beer in front of first-time customers can be an ongoing challenge for your brewery. Events like the Victoria Baths or a running club are a way to engage with new people around shared hobbies or interests and encourage them to become beer ambassadors down the road! For more ideas on creative event spaces, check out this Eat Drink Seek website to search for other food and drink festivals.
Find the Perfect Partner
What’s the old saying, strength in numbers? Why not pair up with another brewery to expand your reach? Many breweries are doing exactly this through “collaboration brews,” which involve two or more breweries joining forces to create a special, limited-edition beer.
A key component of a collaboration brew is hosting a special event to celebrate its release. For example, last month at the Adelaide Beer and BBQ Festival, Brewdog sampled five of its special collaboration beers as well as some other rare beverages. The collaboration involved several of the leading craft beer breweries in Australia for “5 mind-blowing and inventive beers” that were all released at the festival. Now that’s strength in numbers!
The Best in Beer Swag
What do people like almost as much as your beer? Beer swag! No matter what type of event you do, make the most of it with the best in branded beer swag. The right swag will keep your brewery top of mind long after the event ends. You can either sell items for additional revenue or gift them to your attendees to build customer loyalty and brand recognition.
One tried-and-true idea is to create classic customised merchandise like brewery hats, t-shirts or glassware. Feeling a little more creative? Try a branded can cooler, which is a perfect pick for summer events where the days can be long and warm. Other creative, one-of-a-kind beer swag ideas include beer badges, bottle openers, coasters and even a beer stationary set.
And don’t forget about your front-line staff representing your brewery at your events. We can help with attire, button badges or name tags to complement the look of your brewery brand. Get in touch with us today – we’d love to brainstorm some ways to pump up your brewery marketing efforts to make your event truly memorable. Cheers!