How Rohrbachs is Adapting to an Online Sales Model

Some states are now allowing breweries to ship within state lines and that is opening up new opportunities for some facilities.

In Rochester, New York, Rohrbachs Brewing launched an online sales portal for beer on Monday. Connecting with new consumers is one goal, but also being able to get beers that the brewery usually only offers at its taprooms into consumers’ hands is another key to adding this avenue of sales.

“Distributors don’t always take every beer we offer, so this allows us to get smaller-batch beer to our customers in other cities,” said Marketing Director Brittany Statt.

The brewery gave its staff on a new POS system for online ordering of takeout while the website has been updated to be as clear and easy as possible to order online and give customers the know-how to pick up orders.

“Website, weekly newsletters, and social media have been extremely important as it’s the easiest way to reach our customers with the latest information,” Statt said. “Communication between staff and to our customers is huge as things are changing weekly and even daily.

“[It’s] very important to get the most up-to-date information out there.”

For beer shipping, Rohrbachs made sure to have controls on this new offering in order to manage it.

Orders will only be accepted Monday through Wednesday, with Wednesday being dedicated to fulfilling all orders for that week.

“We have one staff member dedicated to fulfilling orders and monitoring them online — in this case, it’s me,” she said.

Everyone at Rohrbachs has been pitching in to work this new business model and many roles are being adjusted “in the trenches” as the brewery is still operating on a limited staff.

“Just to name a few examples, brewers are dedicating more time to crowler filling and can packaging; staff members are making beer deliveries that normally don’t, and staff that would normally run events are working different roles in the restaurants,” Statt said.

When new laws like this one happen, Statt said many New York State breweries have really embraced it and made it happen fast.

“I think our response as an industry really makes some noise and shows the positive results, which can do a lot,” Statt said.

Rohrbachs is using targeted digital advertising to reach fans in specific areas outside of the home base of Rochester

“We hope that they will then become advocates for our product in their areas and spread the word about our beer,” Statt said.

The first week’s offerings include Rohrbachs’ flagship Scotch Ale, Griddle Cakes, and Pineapple Wheat.

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