Cider Corner: ​Finding the Best Festival Fit

Entering their third festival season, Olga Dressler noticed that she and her husband Brian have gleaned insights about how to make the Dressler Estate cidery presence more effective.

Because ​Mary Paulson’s ​cidery is built to raise money for charity, ​Poochie’s Hootch​ tend​s​ to only participate in ​events​ that are for a charity.

​”​I will consider the ones that are nearest the community my cidery is located​,” Paulson said​. ​”Community and ​charity are the real main basis.​”​

A few keys that Dressler noted is that festivals the cidery participates in have to fall within its distribution area, and sometimes the bigger the fest doesn’t mean better.

“Surprisingly, there’s a far reach for festival organizers,” Olga Dressler said. “We’ve had requests to participate in and have attended festivals that we didn’t have a local presence near.

“We find — as our ciders are delicate and nuanced — that a festival with a more intimate format works best for us. We need to have time to interact with potential customers and we look for opportunities where there will be time to talk with festival attendees.”

Festivals are a great way to drive sales locally, and Dressler said the cidery needed to ensure that it put more infrastructure in place before trying a new festival.

Because Meriwether Cider is only available in its local area, Molly Leadbetter said the cidery will rarely accept invitations to festivals outside of its distribution area.

“Not only do they cost to get there, get out of state permitting, meals, etc … they are also introducing our product to consumers who will not be able to purchase our product in their local area,” she said. “Therefore the whole expense of the festival isn’t paid back in a meaningful way for sales revenue.”

Since Meriwether has been invited to beer and wine festivals in the Boise, Idaho area, Leadbetter said that the cidery tries to attend as many as possible.

“They are a great way to introduce people to our cider, support the craft community, and give people an ‘experience’ they’ll remember with our brand,” she said.

But Meriweather has started to become more discerning in what it attends.

“There are a few festivals we have taken out of our rotation due to high entrance fees, unorganized staff, or a general lack of community support and effort taken to fit in with the craft culture of Boise,” Leadbetter said.

1 Comment

  1. Pingback: Cider Corner: Marketing Your Brand at a Festival

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *