Brew Review: Capitalizing on Rock ‘n’ Roll Partnership — Belching Beaver

Belching Beaver‘s Dia de los Deftones Mexican-style Lager

Belching Beaver has been able to team up with popular rock band Deftones for five releases now. The newest offering, Dia de los Deftones, a Mexican-style Lager, was announced recently.

Of course, having a band with millions of fans can help in sales initially, but having a quality product was first and foremost for the San Diego brewery. Having a great and consistent product helped the brewery’s first collaboration with Deftones — Phantom Bride IPA, which came out in 2016 — has vaulted the beer into the brewery’s portfolio as a year-round.

Timing in marketing the initial product release is crucial said Belching Beaver CEO, Tom Vogel.

“We both make an effort to publicize the release simultaneously, so if one of our fans goes to the other site, we are both talking about our latest joint beer release,” he said. “The band has a ton of followers, and luckily, those fans will jump over to our site to see where the beer is available.

“Plus, it’s been awesome to get emails from people all over the world about any new Deftones release. This has definitely been a jump start and a great relationship for us.”

Belching Beaver released Dia de los Deftones on draft at the band’s concert in 2018, and Vogel said it sold out instantly

“[We] thought this would make a great packaged release,” he said. “When we saw the artwork for the concert we fell in love with it, and it all just came together.”

Vogel and his team look at beer ratings, social media and direct feedback via its retail customers and tasting rooms for gauging how the beer has been received, along with noting its taste and overall quality.

“All of these things are definitely key at first, beyond that, it’s staying power in the market,” he said. “A beer can really be a hit, but a successful beer will continue to grow and sell over time.”

The look is important, he added. The brewery realized that the label on the Phantom Bride release was also a player in the success of the brand. Since the first packaging release in 2016, Belching Beaver decided to add an illustrator to the team for designing all of its releases.

An interesting note is that the brewery released Dia de los Deftones not just in pint-sized cans, but as a six-pack as well. Many breweries — because of price points — choose to offer 16-ounce cans in four-packs instead.

“This was a real decision for us. In the end, it came down to the fact that we didn’t want our customers or the Deftones fans to ‘pay for the hype,'” Vogel said.

Belching Beaver wanted consumers to know they were getting a good deal, so Vogel said he priced it to match similar styles and packaging at other breweries that he thought were also making really good beers.

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