​How Creating a Space for More Than Beer Works for These Breweries​

​Being something for everyone isn’t just ideal in creating brands for your portfolio but for hosting as well and many breweries now look past just having a bar and tables to sit at and wait for consumers to fill them, adding specialized spaces to host special events can be just as popular, and profitable.

​O’so ​Brewing‘s Marc Buttera bought 32​,​000 sq. ft. of an old department store that was closed down, so the plan when they opened the new facility this year for the veteran Wisconsin brewery was to make it into a destination spot for more than just locals.

“We are close to the interstate and hotels,” he noted. “Knowing that we need to generate more revenue on-site and with the demand for rental/event space, we felt it was a good investment up front.”

So they carved out 6,300 sq. ft. that is adjacent to the brewery and taproom for such a case.

Urban Artifact has event space in addition to its taproom. Located in a historic church built in 1873, Scott Hand tells Brewer they reserve the upstairs sanctuary space for event rentals and built the taproom and music spaces into the lower level along with a courtyard beer garden space.

READ MORE: Best Tips in Utilizing Beer Garden Space

“While the execution was lacking when we started, we did have this strategy in place from the beginning,” he said. “It’s taken a lot of work and money to continually improve and restore the building — and specifically the event space — to its current state.”

The event space has its own name and branding, called “The Reliquary at Urban Artifact,” and it is geared primarily towards wedding events and receptions.

“It has its own Instagram account, and a separate sign out on the street,” Hand noted. “For a few years, I was managing these events myself with help from our taproom team, but as the number of reservations has grown and we’ve established the venue as a contender in the Cincinnati venue market, we’ve grown the team to two full-time employees managing and running the events.”

Buttera​ said that​ there is a ton of word of mouth ​to help attract people to use the space for events ​but ​the central Wisconsin-area company ​has a large upper mezzanine where ​they also hang a “Rent this ​Space” banner​ along with posting on social media​.

​”​We have an online inquiry where you can access a calendar of events and see if the space is available for your requested day​,” he added. ​”​Inquiries go to a specific email to be sorted through and managed.​”​

​Hand has found that while it is in Urban Artifacts’ nature to be as flexible as possible with folks who want the Cincinnati brewery to host events for them, it can easily be a hindrance.

“Whether we do too much to bring in an event onsite, that ends up detracting from standard operations, or a branding/visibility mismatch that confuses our customers, there are a few ways that hosting events can be a problem,” he said. “We’ve been working over the last few years to refine the vision of exactly what an event at Urban Artifact looks like, what we can execute with the least amount of disruption, and where we can be most valuable to folks who are looking for a good space.”

That means they tend to turn away small private party requests.

“Those are much better suited for other venues with specific facilities to accommodate them,” Hand pointed out. “We do try our best to work with community organizations that want to host fundraisers or meet-n-greet events because we can turn the switch on and make those happen extremely easily from our perspective, and we can easily provide a lot of help to those organizations working to do good things.”

With the space they have made available, Hand said Urban Artifact loves working with couples on wedding events and receptions every single week.

“After years of learning, our team has turned it into a second nature operation and a big piece of our on-site business,” he said.

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