Libertine’s Tips for Marketing Strategies that Work

By nature of its brewing style, Libertine Brewing produces small batches of many beers which give the California brewery an incredibly unique opportunity to go all out from both a marketing and brewing perspective on just 10-15 barrels of beer.

“The creativity begins in the brewery and a year later we are presented with a finished product ready for sale,” said Libertine Marketing and Sales Manager Jason Hudson. “Much of our most creative marketing comes over pints after work; discussions of music, movies and pop culture lead us to the most ridiculously amazing beer names.”

One specific campaign Libertine recently worked on was a partnership with Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.

“Sea Shepherd is a wonderful organization with 40 years of ocean conservation under their belt,” Hudson said. “They were instrumental in making this an effective release.”

The beer was a Gose base with blood oranges. To accomplish the alkaline properties of the beer the brewery added local seawater and kelp.

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“I think collaboration is always a key factor in successful marketing,” Hudson said. “Collaborations with other breweries are generally successful for the same reason; however, with our Sea Shepherd Gose, we were able to target a demographic that had never heard of us or our beer style. Thinking outside of the box has always been the best tool we own.”

Libertine’s customer base is wide ranging. Hudson said that the brewery in the middle of wine country of Edna Valley and Paso Robles, California.

“We see a lot of ‘fermentation enthusiasts,’ ” he explained. “The impact and interest surrounding our beer seems to overflow from the pool of “beer nerds.” — they are our core… but we seem to attract much more diversity overall.

The Sea Shepherd Gose taught Libertine that there is a greater interest in the style.

“Wild Ales and Sour beers are growing in popularity,” he said. “We are fortunate to have found a model that is in line with our personalities as well as our environment. Throughout all our campaigns we learn a little more about our fans; hearing what they want helps us continuously attempt to create new and unique beers.”

Servicing and marketing to its biggest fans, Libertine launches six beers every quarter to its bottle club.

“This keeps us pretty busy with ideas and marketing,” Hudson said. “These 24 beers [each year] target our bottle club members and build on what we’ve learned they like. This is the most repeatable aspect of our beer releases. We have a system, much like a winery, where your member dues are auto drafted each quarter and your six 750ml bottles are ready for pick up.”

Around those releases the breweries tries to throw an event and collaborate with any ranches, wineries or other breweries that may have been a part of any of the release beers.

The usual path toward marketing a beer starts at the beer’s conception, followed by email campaigns, social media blasts, and word of mouth.

“We put the beers on tap and all our members get access to additional bottles on top of their allotments,” Hudson said. “After this, we leave room for organic growth. Its amazing to see what people enjoy the most and see that raw enthusiasm for taste and flavor.

“Our brewery has always been about social freedom, we’re fortunate to brew beer in a way that gives options and encourages criticism. People passionately discussing favorites and least favorites echoes across our bar; these are the analytics we most proudly reference when we are discussing new beer ideas.”

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