Choosing Who Reps Your Brand at a Festival

Beer festivals have become as niche and focused as the different types of breweries in themselves. Connecting with consumers can still be a goal, but knowing what sort of consumers your brewery is connecting with can help.

Knowing the vibe of fest can lead to better exposure, pointed out Crooked Stave Marketing Manager Jennifer Wolinski. A number of considerations come into play for the Denver brewery. It takes into account who the event coordinators are; the attendees; what sort of exposure can be gained; and even whom the event benefits.

“We want to be sure that our brand is one that the masses, new and old, will want to taste,” she said. “It is important that the festival is also one that everyone, attendees and staff, will have a great time at without it being the all too often ‘drunk-fest.’ ”

Crooked Stave makes a point to educate and train all staff members with a well-rounded knowledge to represent the company and brand in the best way possible at any given moment.

Staff for festivals is chosen on a case-by-case basis and is based on the structure of the event and what the brewery can anticipate that an attendee is looking to get out of the experience.

Depending on the event, a sales representative, taproom staff, or a member of the brewery’s marketing team might be the best choice.

“Conversely, the owner, a brewer, cellarman, or lab tech may serve as a better option if the festival is more industry focused,” Wolinski pointed out.

Peace Tree Brewing will send just about anyone who works at the Des Moines, Iowa brewery, including bartenders, from the taproom.

“They are all good at representing Peace Tree and have a great knowledge of the beers,” said Marketing Director Mike Benson. “Their responsibilities are generally customer-service oriented … pour beer, smile, thank customers for their support.”

Dan Shapiro of Angel City said the brewery is lucky enough to have a team of promotional representatives whose sole responsibility is heading to events.

“They are not only experts in our beer and our brewery, they also have plenty of experience dealing with the unexpected things that come up when you’re working offsite,” he noted.

Responsibilities of the festival staff can include setting up and tearing down the booth and everything in between, or simply showing up and providing attendees with an exceptional experience.

Wolinski added that Crooked Stave caters its beer options as well.

“Some festivals have strict guidelines on beer styles to be served, and we stay within those parameters,” she noted. “If we have free rein, we typically take one or two easy-drinking crowd pleasers; seasonal selections; and either a one-off or something big and bold.”

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