How This GABF Winner Focuses on Deep & Honest Sales Relationships

Although a unique situation, sometimes, being small and limited in product ​has its benefits for Brink Brewing.

Founder and owner Andrew McCleese admits it may be easier for the Cincinnati brewery to communicate easily with accounts to build the sales relationship. Mainly, they don’t have many and the brewery’s reputation supersedes itself.

“With all modesty aside, our situation is probably a little easier than most breweries as our reputation for quality is the best in our market,” he said. Brink is a two-time GABF Very Small Brewing Company of the Year along with being a medalist at the GABF and World Beer Cup every year since opening. That’s quite a marketing campaign. “All the local and even region/national beer buyers know who we are and seek us out for beer. Most of our beer is sold by retailers wanting to get us on draft in their establishment.”

That said, sales calls are still needed to maintain a healthy relationship with beer buyers. Good communication is paramount.

“Most of our accounts we manage remotely as there is no need for us to send people around to retailers to maintain relationships when you have a telephone, text, or email,” McCleese said. “Our situation is probably unique from most breweries because of our awards and free marketing that has brought.”

While some breweries try to get lots of placements, Brink is looking for the best places for its product to go.

​”Our biggest problem is everyone wants our beer and we have had to finely cultivate our list of retailers​,” McCleese said​. “​We only maintain around 60 accounts we work with as we consider these to be the best placements for our beer.

​”​This is not a large number of retailers to manage considering some of the bigger breweries in town are in thousands of retailers across our state. We just make sure we keep in touch with our retailers and communicate well about our supply and production schedules.​”​

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