The Impact a New On-Premise Draft Account Can Have

Setting up a new on-prem draft account is always a huge win. 

Having your beer at a local establishment gives a consumer a more focused sampling opportunity, explained Justin Harm of Alternate Ending Beer. It’s an environment more often than not where the New Jersey brewery’s brand is one of just a handful of selections with 10-20 tap handles versus being one of hundreds of craft options in a liquor store cooler or on a shelf. 

“It’s a numbers game and the numbers are much more in your favor with any draft line,” said Harm, the brewery’s Sales Manager, “but especially if you find one that sticks and cranks.” 

On-prem sales directly control off-prem pull through in most of The Alementary’s markets, said COO Blake Crawford. 

“In our Pennsylvania territories, draft placement is critical,” he said as an example. “In New York City, draft placement is critical just because people go out so much more than they drink at home.”

As the on-premise continues to struggle to return to pre-COVID strength, it’s always important to find reliable accounts to keep draft moving. 

READ MORE: Best Practices for Hiring, Training and Retaining Sales Staff

“On-premise accounts have always been crucial to building brands that can then thrive in the off-premise so it’s been an interesting challenge to adapt to the current market,” said Kyle Park of Neshaminy Creek. “We’ve noticed that accounts are more inclined to stick with one brand and aren’t as keen on rotating every single keg.” 

But do breweries feel that craft beer has become more prevalent in which previous accounts that may have passed are more receptive now?

“Overall, there’s definitely a wider audience for craft relative to when we first started over a decade ago,” Park said, who is the Director of Sales and Marketing for Neshaminy Creek. “It used to be more niche but it’s much more familiar to the average consumer these days so accounts aren’t as hesitant as they may have been in the past.”

Is craft beer more prevalent? Not really, said Harms. 

“If anything lines are shrinking to draft wine and draft teas/seltzers in places,” he said. “But accounts are still more open to local, specifically hyper-local.”

Photo courtesy The Alementary

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