How Montucky Bucked Packaging Trends

Montucky Cold Snacks has a very unique business plan, one that’s actually backwards to most breweries.

The founders of the light Lager wanted to make an alternative to craft beer in Montana for people that enjoy a lighter tasting beer. It’s actually brewed in Wisconsin (since 2012) with a contract brewer, but the product was exclusively sold in Montana for the first few years.

Montucky has since expanded its reach to Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Idaho, Colorado, Arizona, Texas, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Tennessee, and Alaska, and up until recently, the beer has been sold only in cans.

Now, for the first time, Montucky launched draft in select locations in Colorado just a few weeks ago.

The reason for the initial launch in Colorado is because it’s Montucky’s biggest market, and because of the already huge number of craft beer drinkers.

“We decided draft because there’s so many options out there,” said Jeff Courteau, head of sales. “We just got an offer to go in and get in front of more people and sell beer.”

The idea behind it is that consumers may only be able to drink a couple of stouts or IPAs in a sitting while watching a game at a sports bar, so Montucky is a lighter option with a lower ABV.

“It’s an exciting proposition to be able to be able to sit at a bar and see a bunch of really good beer lined up and be able to say hey I want a Montucky,” Courteau said. “We’re really just kind of feeling it out. We had a lot of fun with it when we first launched.”

The conversation with Montucky’s distributor started around September of last year, with the idea that Montucky’s cornerstone values of giving back should come first.

“We took some of our initial kegs that we first came out with and we donated it 100% of the proceeds of those kegs back to charities here in Colorado,” Courteau said.

For the launch on draft, Montucky hasn’t made any new hires to the team, and they mostly rely on word-of-mouth sales and garnering a loyal following. The team is looking to enter one more market — Northern California — before the end of the year.

Montucky decides on new markets by looking at new areas from a marketing, legal, and non-profit standpoint.

Before entering those new markets, Montucky starts conversations with local charities in the area, and at least 8% of proceeds go to local causes, following Montucky’s founding ideals of giving back to the community.

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