​Branding Focus: Ivanhoe Park Ties History into Flight Board

Yes, the beer has to be quality, but the branding and marketing can matter just as much, said Ivanhoe Park Brewing‘s Glenn Closson.

The founder of the Orlando-based brewery used to run Beach City Brewery in California and he admitted that good beer doesn’t always sell itself, so with his second run in Ivanhoe Park, he hired a marketing firm to help tell the story of the brewery.

Something as simple as a flight board helped in telling that story.

“The flight board was an important part, as you are presenting your beers for a new customer to sample and want to put your best foot forward,” he told Brewer. “We all want to think the beer sells itself, but sometimes adding to the experience can make the best beer taste better.”

Ivanhoe Park Brewing is named after the first amusement park that opened in 1910 which was on Lake Ivanhoe and patrons can see it from the brewery’s tasting room.

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“We felt it was great uncovering this history and paying homage to the story, as Orlando is always known for the other theme parks, but this one was way before any of those were even a dream,” Closson said. “I had owned a brewery in Huntington Beach, California, and just traveled a lot, visiting other breweries over the years. I really liked it when a brewery had a great design to present their flight.”

Flights have been crucial to allow new customers to try different beers and be able to hone in on a favorite to purchase a pint to enjoy and move on to take a pack of cans home with them, Closson explained.

“We see it happen all the time,” he said. “We usually have at least 12 beers on tap and sometimes a group of people will order three flights of four to share and get to sample all of them. I would say it would be difficult without flights, as then customers would just want to sample each one to decide which beer to go with, which would lead to free beer going out and just overall time consumed in moving the line.”

Ivanhoe Park and its design firm, SIX the Agency,​ came up with ​the design ​for the flight board ​based on the dock cleats ​someone would have found at the amusement park on the lake ​along with just ​having an overall wood design, as ​Closson said they have decorated ​its taproom with lots of reclaimed wood highlights.

Closson and his team were excited to win a Gold Crushie for its flight board at the 2021 Craft Beer Marketing Awards and he said he feels the brewery’s branding overall has really helped it grow so quickly in the Central Florida market.

“With owning my first brewery, I learned a lot of lessons,” he said. “All of us want to open a brewery and just have the beer be so good it sells itself. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case, the product must be good, but marketing and branding have become a big part of getting the consumer to try the product to decide if they like it.”

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