Essentials Needed for a Successful Consumer Experience

Besides great beer — the most important and quality of products, of course — consumers of your brand need to feel welcomed when visiting your on-premise locations.

The dollars that they spend is nice, but a repeat performance and additional word-of-mouth marketing can be even more of an impact in the long run.

Talking with many breweries from various angles, here are some thoughts on aspects that can be key to a smooth-running and successful taproom.

Customer Service

The biggest thing that Raised Grain has in their taproom may be that they really try to focus on the experience when people come in said co-founder Nick Reistad.

When a drinker comes in a beertender or other staff member can talk to them about the brewery’s beer.

“We have all of them come through and spend the day brewing so they understand the process behind what they’re selling,” Reistad said. “They can tell you about their favorite beers, they can tell you about some of the stories of working in a startup craft brewery and just all the crazy stuff you see. Then you just have an awesome time getting to know our beertenders and we focus very intensely on that experience.

“Then our challenge is to take that experience and let people enjoy that when they’re sitting with a can of our beer on their back porch or if they are out at one of the beer gardens: what is the experience that they’re going to have so that when they see Raised Grain they think: ‘This is going to elevate my experience, whatever I’m doing.’”


New Belgium Liquid Center’s Tyler Foos pointed out that the brewery’s tour guides are also a part of the tasting room. That means the person that led the tour is also in the tasting room to be a part of additional questions or comments.

“It allows for the relationship to continue that was formed over that past 90 minutes,” he pointed out. “It gives the tour guide the opportunity to continue conversations with everyone on their tour. It also creates time for the more knowledgeable consumers to have their questions answered, or if we don’t know the answer, we’ll go run and get a brewer and let those the guests ask questions.”

Finding a way to connect helps with return visits as well.

“People continue to come back to take tours specifically because they want to take a different tour guides tour, or they want to go back on tour with the same guide because they loved it,” he said. “You need to focus on having a team of people that understand what it means to take care of people as if they were taking care of them in their home. I’ve always told guests, it’s not my tour, it’s your tour.”


Katlyn Moore says she approached merchandising the same way anyone at MadTree Brewing does.

“The quality of the products we put out is important because it’s the same fans that are representing our brand and are purchasing and drinking our beer,” she told Brewer. “They should get the same treatment for everything we do for them.”

Merchandising is all about making a connection with current and prospective customers.

“We think of our merchandise as another vehicle to connect with our customer, promote our brand and express our lifestyle,” added Pepin Young, taproom and facilities manager at Bent Paddle Brewing in Duluth, Minnesota. “We also see it as a great way to connect with our fans on a more personal level. We don’t look at it as a key revenue driver as much as an experience enhancement.”

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