What Breweries Can Learn While Distributing

If a brewery chooses self distribution as it starts to grow, it can help its’ sales team learn about its beer buyers, helping to increase knowledge for its sales force along with strengthening the bond between brewery and consumer.

“Being out in the market allows our sales team to create positive relationships with our buyers,” said Midnight Sun Brewing Vice President of Sales, Marketing, Business and Brand Development, Barb Miller.

“We observe what’s going on at other establishments — like new beer releases, events, and specials. We also provide support for our distributor so if a retailer is having an issue, we can communicate that to the distributor and work to get it resolved as soon as possible so that we retain happy buyers.”

That can be helpful information for future sales strategies, and even beer releases.

“Your relationship with the entire supply chain from your people to wholesalers to retailers and to consumers is everything in terms of sales,” noted Sloop Brewing co-founder Adam Watson. “If one link is unhappy the system is not working the way it should. It’s a huge partnership that can sometimes be hard to managed. It’s a lot of personalities that need to be kept happy and that’s why you need to pick them wisely.”

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Augie Carton said that his Carton Brewing in New Jersey makes unique beers that don’t stick to true styles, and his sales team needs to be a reflection of that while making connections in places that seem insignificant, not just the “important” places, as Carton said.

“We want our beers to find people that get what each beer is doing and are excited by them, the best way to insure this happens is have the best people in the world talking about each beer as organic to the process as possible,” he said. “The people selling and delivering Carton in New Jersey where in the brewery when we thought of it, tasted it as we worked it out in pilots, and served it or had it served to them in our tasting room.

“They get it and they are very able to help you do so as well.”

Clark Lewey, from Iowa’s Toppling Goliath, said self distribution and a strong sales team helps develop “close relationships with your customers and additional cash flow to your bottom line.”

“Buyers are looking for dependability and meaningful relationships,” he added. “Having great beer is also a plus.”

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