​Cider Corner: Getting Back Out There! Hosting Tastings at Retail​

Getting back out in the public eye, whether to introduce your brand to the general populace or even a refresher on who you are and what your brand delivers can be an important factor when you are selling your product in off-premise retail locations.

Minneapolis-based Sociable Cider has a “Sociable Stoker” team — led by sales rep Jeremy Moran — where they will be found out at events to help lead sampling Sociable and Squoze (the cidery’s hard seltzer brand) at liquor stores around its territory.

“The first requirement of being a Stoker is: you have to be Sociable,” said the cidery’s Ciara Metzger. “Being personable and fun is part of the gig.”

Receiving input from several palettes helps a cidery like Bend Cider be more innovative and create new ciders that can help expand the cider audience, added Bend co-founder Tamara Roark.

“We like to have tasting panels that include cider lovers, beer enthusiasts, wine lovers, foodies/chefs, family and friends,” she said.

Having these public-facing events where the team gets direct feedback is important, Metzger added.

“It’s helped with brand awareness and also lets our current customer base try new things on the menu,” she said.

What should some of the questions you should ask potential customers that stop to try?

Roark says this is what they instruct to be asked:

  • Is this cider drinkable?
  • What stands out to you about this cider?
  • Could you drink a full glass of this cider?
  • How are the flavors balanced?
  • What would you do to make this cider better?

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