What Do Your On- / Off-Premise Buyers Want?

Leslie Kaceus​ feels​ fortunate ​that her brewery — Bootstrap Brewing in Longmont, Colorado — ​is in an area where craft beer enthusiasts are more than willing to try new products and then talk about it to everyone they know.

​It means that working with local craft beer buyers in both on- and off-premise can result in a positive outlook to new releases in packaging.​

​”We’re very methodical about what we release and spend a great amount of time market testing a product way before we decide to package it​,” Kaceus said​.​ “Our customers love it because we’re not just throwing a product out to see how it does — they know it will sell well.​”​

This philosophy ​started ​from ​Day No. 1 for Bootstrap and its paid dividends.

​”We make only what we like to drink, market test it in the taprooms, then festivals, then put kegs out to restaurants​,” Kaceus said of the marketing progression and penetration​.​”​ Only after success in these areas do we decide to put it in a can.​”​

Let the beer speak for itself​, said Hop & Sting brewer and co-owner Brian Burton​.

​”​Then it is up to our salespeople to close the deal​,” he said​. ​”It is a tough market, and there doesn’t seem to be anyone message that works.​”​

​Burton noted that most places ​that purchase beer in retail and on-premise now ​know enough that they should have some sort of craft beer.

​”​The best thing for a not​-​so​-​crafty venues are giving a quality product at a competitive price point​,” he said.​ That means having sales reps talk about how local ​the brewery is​, which equates to​ the freshness of the product and that the beer simply tastes good.

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