Making a Tap Takeover Work For You

Engaging with the public, handing out some swag and being in the public eye are all great qualities of a tap takeover for any brewery. Finding places to have an event for your brewery and potentially introduce your brands to a new group is always exciting for a brewery sales rep.

“I would define a successful event as one where the guests leave a little more emotionally connected to the brewery,” said Barrelhouse Brewing Sales Manager Billy Thompson. “I love anywhere we can have to opportunity to take the time to share and connect. I don’t want to just pour through beers.

“Each one has a story and a journey for how it came to be. It can be a cool crafty bottle shop, a tap takeover 500 miles from home, a Total Wine & More in the next county … they’re all good as long as you get the opportunity to share, connect, and cheers.”

The traits of a successful location can be very fickle and are dependent on a number of circumstances, points out Bozeman Brewing Sales Rep, Mark Bergstrom.

“A location that is already known for their beer selection or knowledge is ideal, a manager at the location that is excited about the tasting and sharing your beer with customers, and staff that will share that enthusiasm with their customers makes for a better event but doesn’t guarantee one,” he said. “Weather, time of day and day of week, proximity to holidays, and promotion of the event can have a positive or negative impact on the events success.

“I very often consult with my distributor sales reps before scheduling an event because they know the venue more intimately than I will and their insight of what to expect based on past events is valuable in deciding to do an event and how to plan for it. They can be an invaluable resource.”

Pat Velten, the Director of Sale for Everybody’s Brewing said the most important thing is making sure the brewery understand the expectations the manager or owner at the account that is hosting the event.

“If they think our tap takeover is going to draw a million customers on a random Wednesday night, they are going to be disappointed,” he said. “A tap takeover is just not what it used to be.

“In reality, I tell managers that my tap takeover might not draw a ton of extra people, but I can make sure that the people that are there have an increased customer experience because I know how to engage people and have a good time.”

Velten said that consumers like getting even the lightest swag, like stickers, koozies, key chains.

“My goal is for them to leave with a positive taste in their mouth about the account, myself, and our beer,” he said. “The real goal is that their experience will motivate them to come check out our pub the next time they are thinking about visiting a brewery. There’s nothing better than seeing someone at the pub that I recently had a great interaction with out in the trade somewhere.”

In Thompson’s opinion, the event has to be a mutual effort where both the brewery and the beer buyer are excited to host.

“You want an account who will help create excitement for the event and for you as the representative of the brewery to identify locations where you will have a great opportunity to share your brewery with a new group of fans,” he said. “I love reaching out to longtime accounts who have been great supporters but may have only poured one or two of our more popular beers consistently and have never had the chance to share some of the more limited specialties.

“You get a chance to bring some very cool, rare beers into the account, share them with their fans, and create an event that is special.”

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