Capturing New Demographics for Your Brewery

You know it to be true, most of America doesn’t drink craft beer. The numbers show a growth over the past few decades, but for the majority of craft beer makers, it is still an education process.

When Cris Ellenbecker first came to east Tennessee from Wisconsin, he was shocked by how few people drank craft beer.

“We really had to fight against the Budweiser crowd,” the Yee-Haw Brewmaster explained. “So, our entire market that we’ve gained was a non-traditional craft market.”

Even in a progressive craft-beer town like Portland, Oregon, continuing to find new people to add to the craft network of drinkers is still happening.

HUB has three different brewpubs and one of the best ways to reach other demographics is to reach out to local schools and invite them to participate in profit share nights, explained Marketing Manager Eric Steen.

“Our pubs are family-friendly and it is exciting for new customers to see that you can have a brewpub setting be a place that is alive and vibrant for all ages,” he said.

In New York, Empire has become a real hot spot for families, especially parents who’ll bring their children under the age of 15.

“We operate on over 22 acres of working farm land with a spacious patio and sweeping views,” described Monica Palmer, the brewery’s Design Director. “Parents hang at the picnic tables in our backyard while the kids play tag and cornhole on the grass.”

This was not a demo Empire had initially anticipated but Palmer said they have embraced it.

“We set up a board game/outdoor game ‘library’ in the tasting room and have organized various family friendly events onsite,” she said. “The bar side is obviously 21 and older with plenty of seats, so I’ve never heard a complaint from a patron who had a problem with the age range but I could see it being an issue if we were smaller.

“We can seat 100 people inside, and 100 people outside but we’re still packed every sunny weekend.”

The marketing team for Yee-Haw has put a lot of time into making sure that if any new products come out, they have a good back story and description to them.

Ellenbecker said they just released a Summertime Gose as a seasonal, and the marketing team made sure that across the markets, people really understood what the history of the style was and what it was going to taste like.

“It helps when the sales team is working hand in hand doing samplings at places as an educational tool as well,” he said.

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