Re-Strategizing Sales with Telluride

With the taproom closed, Telluride Brewing Company is doing what many others are, and selling beer to-go from the brewery in cans, crowlers, and growlers, while turning a focus to distribution rather than taproom sales. 

Alex Hoskin, Front Range Sales for the brewery in Telluride, Colorado spoke to Brewer about the fresh perspective he’s gotten from online sales.

“One of the cool things that I’ve noticed is one of the super large liquor stores on the Front Range that was doing 100% online sales was our top account for the last two months,” Hoskin said. “Looking at it, it’s hard to see from a sales perspective if you have these hardcore customers or if you just have people walking beer aisles and picking up what’s cheap or what they haven’t seen before.”

Losing bar and restaurant sales was a big hit, which was 40-50% of Telluride’s business, but Telluride works with four other distributors in Colorado, besides its self-distribution in its hometown.

“To have all these people looking for our beer and buying it online and going to pick it up from the store is a really cool thing to see, to see that there’s these people out there that love Telluride Brewing Company enough to make the effort to get it and not just pick up a 24-pack or the cheapest domestic you can find,” Hoskin said.

Telluride bought a new can labeler last fall, which has given the brewery the opportunity to can beers that have never been available before.

FreakyFISH Double IPA, a favorite in the brewery’s taproom, is moving into cans for the first time with the help of the public. The brewery is hosting a label design contest open to anyone, hoping to find enough winners to sell the cans in 6-packs with a different design on each can.

Instead of hunkering down and doing the bare minimum while taprooms are closed, Telluride is pushing the envelope.

“We have plans to put seven new beers in cans before the end of the year,” Hoskin said. “We’ve done three so far that we’ve never canned since this started.”

The brewery recently added a new member to its team, Meghan Pittenger, to help with marketing and social media. Since growing its social media presence, Telluride has upped its sales of merchandise and new beers.

“We don’t know when bars and restaurants are going to open and what capacity they’re going to open with. We’re going to be there when they do,” Hoskin said, “but we know that online sales and off-premise sales are going to be big.”

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