Cider Corner: How Visual Aids Help Educate and Engage Customers

Interesting visuals can be one way to capture the attention of your customers and engage them with your brand.

Benny Boy Brewing in Los Angeles has found that to be the case with its rack and cloth press — old-school technology that the cidery built by hand.

It was a trip across the pond that inspired them to put the contraption together.

“Once we figured out that we could officially add cider to our Benny Boy plans, we decided to take a trip to two world-renowned cider making regions: Normandy in France and Somerset and Herefordshire in the UK. We met with a bunch of cider makers and toured facilities, and more than one of the places we visited in rural UK had their own rack and cloth presses,” co-owner Benny Farber recalled. “I’ll never forget the first time we got to help out on a press like that. I knew then I would have to build my own, which I did a few months after we opened our doors at Benny Boy.”

It made its first appearance to a receptive crowd at a special event in Los Angeles in November, 2022 and was an instant hit.

“During our first AppleFest at harvest time last year, we debuted the press in the beer garden, and we had 75 urbanite volunteers rolling up their sleeves, getting their hands dirty, and diving in,” Farber recalled. “When you get people to participate on that manual level, you get them hooked on the process as a whole, you get them asking questions about fermentation, and above all you get them invested in the final product because they helped make it happen.”

Farber said the engagement was the best learning experience Benny Boy Brewing had seen since launching in March, 2022.

“And the enthusiasm is so contagious,” he added. 

Beyond the community engagement, the cider press serves a functional purpose, providing them with the opportunity to press other apple varietals they can’t get on a large scale and doing small-batch ferments to experiment with different blends.

Nothing goes to waste.

“All the crushed apple byproducts go to the same place our spent grain from brewing goes: Sow-a-Heart regenerative farm,” Farber said. “They give the apples and spent grain as feed to their farm animals. It’s a wonderful partnership and the animals love it.”

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