Finding Avenues to Make Best Marketing Impact

Finding helpful solutions to marketing can be a task. There is no simple solution, but as in any industry, finding ways to be creative and attract not just new consumers, but build stronger relationships and retain fans is crucial as well.

So what works and what doesn’t? Some brewery officials shared what they thought was an interesting avenue of promotion while also looking at something that might have been a good idea yet didn’t strike a chord the way they had expected it to.

As a newer brewery and establishing those early relationships with the consumers of Boise, Idaho has meant getting face time with people, said Bear Island Brewing’s Beth Bechtel. She said being out to events and telling the brewery’s story is the brewery’s No. 1 way to promote their brand.

“Since we are out there often and watch what other companies do, we understand the difference between engaging a consumer in regards to your brand versus just throwing some swag at them,” she said.

For Jim Mills at Ashland, Oregon’s Caldera Brewing, being a more established brewery has led to the brewery looking outside of the United States for consumers looking to have the Caldera brand exported.


Mills said that some unique contact with consumers comes from the brand being noticed in consumers beer magazines or after the results come out from national beer competitions.

Closer to home base, Lost Coast Brewery in Eureka, California says that its new brewhouse sign located along Highway 101 helps deliver the brewery’s message to both north and south going traffic.

Hosting tastings at bars, restaurants and festivals also help deliver the message directly and get people to try all styles of the brewery’s beers.

That can be hit or miss though.

“Coordinating events with venues that we do not own can be difficult,” Bechtel said. “Many of the venues do not engage with consumers on a personal basis and just want to throw out simple advertising. We find that the personal connection and being truly genuine makes all of the difference, but we do not have that level control when it is not our venue.”

Mills said that the least selling beer out of 45 brands was actually a Coffee Brown Ale made in conjunction with a local Oregon coffee roaster.

“We decided to drop it,” Mills said.

Lost Coast added that advertising in expensive national publications produced very little return on the investment.

“We also find that ‘swag” is not what brings customers in,” Bechtel said. “Sure, it is fun to get little brewery items, but what it should all really come down to is the beer.”

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