Successful Tips for Nationwide Tap Takeovers

When a bar and a brewery work together on a tap takeover, it can be beneficial to both parties. The brewery gets its name and product out en masse while the bar or on-site premise can expect additional cash flow for the evening or weekend.

“Bars often want to place the brewery on a slow night to try and bring in a crowd. The brewery, of course, wants to have the event on a Friday or Saturday so it’s always a negotiation to get everyone to winning,” explained Melvin Brewing co-owner Jeremy Tofte.

The Wyoming-based brewery does a tap takeover every February 4 called ‘2×4 Day,’ a play on the brewery’s Double IPA.

“We did it at over 40 bars this year from Jackson (Wyoming) to DC to LA,” Tofte said when asked about successful events. “All of the bars had a great time and many set sales records.”

A big part of the success is getting the staff involved Tofte said.

“We send them a huge crate of goodies a week before the event: kung fu movies, ninja suits, nunchucks, throwing star coasters and what not,” he said. “They all get the first pick of the swag and then give the rest away during the event. If the staff believes in the brand, they will not be shy to recommend it to their guests.”

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For Ohio’s Jackie O’s Brewery, one tap takeover that was on president Art Oestrike’s mind was using a market close to Pittsburgh was a great way to introduce those that can’t buy the beer yet in the state while still being close enough to have an impact.

“People always want the big new products, but you drive sales to an account that supports you,” he said. “We just did one east of Cleveland and it was an introduction out there that we have different products, not just Mystic Mama IPA. We grew up with a brewpub mentality so that anyone can find something that hits their palette and flavor profiles.

“When we do the big ones, we want to show what we can do: barrel aging, mixed ferments, sours and standard offerings.”

Servicing each account means meeting the needs of the client. Grocery stores may have a fewer amount of draft lines, Oestrike pointed out.

“Their wants are to help support the beer that they have in the establishment,” he noted. “They want the beers that are in the package for their tap takeovers. It’s usually not as big. But when you get to those bars/carryouts then you are able to expand on what you can do. We can fill 30 lines if they want us to.”

Bars that do not help with promotion are really frowned upon noted Tofte.

“We really need to scratch each other’s backs,” he said. “If we are doing an event, let’s make it fun, get your great customers in and let’s get down with them. We want to make it memorable for the customer, the bar and the brewery.”

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