Little Tips to Improve Your Consumers Outside Experience

Moving from your brewery’s indoor taproom to an outside area can make a consumer’s experience shift in ways you may not even realize. Keeping a mindful eye on how a consumer is enjoying their time while being outside of the brewery’s indoor area can help create repeat customers. Especially in areas of the country where the seasons shift, knowing when to prepare for the next season is key.

For a place like the Denver area — which can see snow and heat in the same 24-hour time span — that can mean keeping on their toes.​

Michael Acerra, the General Manager at Living The Dream Brewing,​​ said the Littleton brewery installed a large tent with industrial heaters on ​its front patio to keep everyone toasty and comfortable​ during the especially cold months.

​”We want all of our customers to feel just as comfy in the tent as they do inside the actual taproom​,” Acerra said. “If the customers are happy, they will stay longer and enjoy another brew.”

​In Ohio, MadTree quickly realized that ​its open-air seating needed a comfort upgrade and installed sun shades​ as well.

​”​These are great for filtering the sun but not completely blocking it​,” said Consumer Experience Director, Lauren Amos. “We’ve recently taken some existing pillars that exist in our space and turned them into drink rails to provide additional space for our guest’s comfort.​”​

The ability to cover ​its patio with a tent in the winter and continue to utilize that space has been imperative to the business​ over the past few years​.

​”​We have both covered and ​’​exposed’ ​seating​,” Amos pointed out.​ “The covered seating was designed in a way that even in inclement weather it can still be used.​”

​​Having fire pits as well as heaters is also helpful in those in-between season weather anomalies​ Amos added that being both kid and dog friendly while making sure everyone feels welcome is important to ​the staff.

When the winter tent comes down, LTD’s staff install shade sails on the front patio as well with lots of party string lights.

“This creates a fun and enticing atmosphere to enjoy beautiful afternoons and evenings,” Acerra explained. “Of course good speakers [are important] so everyone can enjoy music.”

Living the Dream has a mix of high-top tables with stools, and low-top tables with seats that have seatbacks.

“It’s best to give people different seating options,” he said. “Sometimes sitting on a stool for a couple hours can be difficult and straining.”

Flipping the script on temperatures, for Southern California’s La Quinta Brewing, Head Brewer Ryan Blondell said a new location added right before the pandemic hit helped alter many thought processes.

With the new location, he said they incorporated a sliding door wall that can bring the outside inside.

“Our outdoor space has a misting system and picnic tables with umbrellas,” he explained, adding they have built-in patio heaters and a stage outside as well.

“We must be adaptable to changing weather conditions with the outdoor space so we have an overflow area in the brewery portion that can be used for private events and busy nights,” he said. “By opening the roll-up doors and the sliders, we create one large open space or close it all up on hot days and have a comfortable conditioned escape from the heat.”

Some simple things like board games, snacks, and ​a Bizzy Bag —​ ​small bags of kids’ toys and activities that ​Living the Dream’s staff sell​s​ at the bar​ —​ can help keep kids entertained so the adults can stay for one more round.

Photo courtesy Michael Acerra, Living The Dream Brewing

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