How Research, Analytics Drive Retail Sales for Montauk

Keeping a short portfolio and taking time to research what is needed and where is what has helped Montauk Brewing grow over the past several years.

The subject of the November/December 2021 cover story for Brewer — now available — the Long Island brewery located in the popular tourist destination is seeing its reach stretch through the New York City area as well with popular brands.

Most recently, Easy Riser, a Belgian White was added to the brewery’s year-long rotation. It came with a lot of research to back up potential success explained Terry Hopper.

“If you look at the craft data in this marketplace, it’s the second-largest style of beer outside of IPA,” said the brewery’s president, who joined the company about 18 months ago as a veteran in retail sales. “That was a hole that we had in our portfolio, we felt like we could do a really good local version of a Belgian White inspired by the ones that have been out there for a long time.”

When Brewer spoke to Hopper in late September, along with co-founders Eric Moss and Vaughan Cutillo, the cases of Easy Riser had just hit retail that day.

READ MORE: How to Win Friends and Influence Consumers From the Start

But it was months of preparation, starting with Moss creating versions of the beer on its 7-barrel brewhouse located at the taproom. As it grew in popularity, the brewery moved into production batches with contracting partners for distribution sales.

The beer release was built upon previous successes in developing and turning over the brand to create winning recipes coupled with great branding to catch a consumer’s eye.

Beers like Wave Chaser IPA and Summer Ale started things and were followed up in 2020 with Cold Day IPA.

“I think we originally thought we would do about 16,000 cases and we did three times that and in a very short window,” Hopper said with a laugh. “So Cold Day just launched again as well.”

The brewery was able to add 12-packs this year and Hopper said they have got really good relationships with key retailers to further the brand.

“I think they see the brand as a brand that drives people to the store and they want it on display because, not only do we make great liquid but I think the packaging is so unique and so colorful and so impactful that it looks great on the floor,” he said. “We’re not having to convince them to put it on the floor, we just have to work it and merchandise it and develop it and build those relationships and then do the boots on the street.”

Simple ​things, like sampling events​ and​ beer festivals,​ help drive ​that ​awareness​, Hopper said.

​”​And then when you look at our Instagram page, and the number of people that follow the brand, it’s a really strong following that we communicate with directly and constantly​,” he said.​

Now Montauk is looking at the fact that in the IPA sub-segment, Double IPAs and Triple IPAs are growing ‘like weeds.’ It becomes an area where Hopper said they want to develop a core that can have a story in the brand portfolio.

“I think we’re not afraid to try things,” Hopper said. “We’ve had plenty of brands, plenty of styles that didn’t work. But as the brand evolves I think it’s imperative for us as a company to stay ahead of that, or stay with it in lockstep.

“The consumers tell you at the end of the day whether they like your brand, and we’ve been fortunate that they really like our brand. They’ve been open to trying new things that we’ve done.”

Photo courtesy Montauk Brewing

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