Adapting Sales Strategies Amid COVID

Amid the layoffs and furloughs that have made up this pandemic, some breweries have been able to adapt and even thrive.

Odell Brewing Company hasn’t had to lay anyone off during the pandemic but actually hired a few people within the last couple of months. 

“I think Odell’s reputation and heritage made it so that we’re in a really good place to catch up and be ahead of this crisis,” said Travis Green, who was hired for the OBC Wine Project in January. “Odell has always kind of embraced this idea of sustainable growth so we were pretty well prepared for this when it happened.”

While on-premise sales have slowed down, the off-premise sales were increasing early on during the pandemic so that signaled a switch in production from kegs to cans and bottles. When Brewer spoke to Green, seating was outside only on the patio with staff running beer outside to guests.

With the brewery running three packaging shifts a day after 30 years of knowledge in canning, the brewery is in a good place with sales.

Putting an online store on its website was one way California Wild Ales in San Diego was able to keep sales up.

“Our May the 4th Star Wars-themed event was a great success,” said Bill DeWitt, co-founder of California Wild Ales. We created 11 Star Wars-themed beers including Banakin Skywalker, Chewboocha, ImPEARial Stormtrooper, and many more. Giving people something to look forward to has been our main goal.”

In addition, customers could pre-order beer for the brewery’s Comic-Con event in July.

When the pandemic reached the States, the brewery was looking for new ways to get bottles in customers’ hands.

California Wild Ales relaunched its bottle club amid COVID, too. 

“We always wanted to relaunch the membership, but we have a small staff so we concentrated our efforts on building out our tasting room and expanding our reach outside of California,” DeWitt said.

With the relaunch of the membership, members can expect 15 small-batch wild ales of which most are exclusive to the group.

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