Partnering to Add Additional Marketing Opportunities

As other industries see the potential for craft beer as a money-making tool, so do craft breweries see the inclusions as a way to market and create more exposure for more consumers.

Savannah, Georgia’s Southbound Brewing is capitalizing on an invitation to partner with HMS Host — a highway and airport food-service company — to have it’s own branded location at the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport.

This opportunity was presented to Southbound’s brewing management by HMS Host. The brewery doesn’t actually own the location, they are just partnering with them to brand it.

“This spot is primarily useful for us as a marketing tool,” explained Brewmaster & Managing Partner Smith Matthews. “We helped their architects come up with the interior design so that it matched our brand. We have put a lot of time into it and we will continue to do so. Although the restaurant is owned by HMS Host and they will serve other products there that are not ours, we are very happy to be the primary focus there.”

Matthews said the team looked at many other airport brewery tap rooms as well as the average amount of passengers who frequent the airport.

“It was decided this would be a great opportunity for us and our brand,” he said. “It enables us to have a major presence at the region’s major travel outlet.”

The addition of the taproom at the airport won’t affect staffing since HMS Host will have its own people doing the serving but Smith ventures that Southbound may do standard on-site marketing and promotions as they do with other retailers.

“Overall it’s a great opportunity and we are thrilled HMS Host chose to partner their branding with us,” he said. “We feel it will be beneficial for both of us for the foreseeable future.”

Smith noted that there are no plans for expansion for the brewery because of this new venture. The brewery that opened in 2013 and is over 6,000 barrels this year for production has plenty of room to add the airport opportunity for added volume growth.

This isn’t the first time HMS has helped regional breweries work on additional marketing opportunities. Earlier in October, Olde Mecklenburg Brewery plans to open a similar branded taproom at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport by the end of 2017. (Read more: “Discover Unique Strategies to Reach New Consumers“)


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