A New Way the Florida Brewers Guild is Connecting Consumers, Brewery Members

​Beginning this month, the Florida Brewers Guild announced​ a new Enthusiast Member program​ for consumers.

The goal of ​the program is to engage ​craft beer lovers in the state with the hope to encourage attendance at events, visits to ​the guild’s online store, and to raise awareness of legislative efforts beyond the brewing industry community.​ Many state guilds have had these types of programs in some form or fashion, and FBG Executive Director Sean Nordquist said it helps generate a revenue stream for the Guild

​”[It]​ helps us towards our mission​,” he said. ​”There are a few states that have had an enthusiast program for over a decade, with hundreds — if not thousands — of members. It is a significant part of their annual revenue, but it also is direct communication with the consumer side of the industry.”

Initially, this was a “Guild on out” move and the program was designed by Nordquist with the help of the board of directors. Nordquist said he will administer and run the program.

“While some enthusiast programs offer incentives at the brewery level (discounted pints, free swag, etc.) from member breweries, I did not want to place any of the burdens on our membership, especially now in the realities of COVID and what our state has done to our industry with closures,” he said. “The benefit to the brewery members is visibility to a dedicated consumer, and the revenue generated for the Guild is used to further the interests of craft breweries in the state.”

Enthusiast Members will receive​ ​a 20% discount on all events ​plus ​early availability​; 20% discount at online store​s​​; ​​an enthusiast T-Shirt​ that will be updated each year; a ​special edition Enthusiast Patch​ that will also be updated each year along with; a​​ ​12​-inch​ Silver/Black tin tacker​ and car magnet​. The guild will also send a quarterly ​newsletter​.​ Membership will work on an open enrollment basis, with signups happening now through February and again in June through July with an annual cost of $50 per person.

This program will allow the Guild to pass on information about legislative efforts, educational opportunities, as well as general information to consumers that want to know more and find ways to help.

“It brings the consumer into the fold, making them part of the greater effort to support the craft breweries in the state,” Nordquist said.

As for the future, Nordquist said ideas are wide open to continue to expand the efforts.

“There are a number of possibilities and opportunities to expand and tweak the program as we move forward,” he said.

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