Ways to Use Events Around Your Brewery to Sell More Product

Location, location, location. Of course, it’s the mantra for a real estate purchase, but it does ring true when your brewery’s taproom is located close to a major event space. Being able to capture an audience that is already in a festive mood, either before or after an event — like sports, concerts, or conventions — can help in banking on a solid sales day.

TailGate Brewery’s Germantown taproom borders First Horizon Park, home to Nashville’s minor league baseball team, the Sounds.

In addition to baseball games throughout spring and into the fall, the ballpark will also host large events through the winter and on “off days.”

“We’re one of the closest spots for food and drink before and after games,” said Marketing Manager Liz Tarry. “Our taproom is slammed during baseball season.”

Being near major and minor league sports seems to be a helpful resource of income for a brewery. In St. Louis, Schlafly Beer is situated near the expansion pro soccer team in town, CITY SC. Its new downtown stadium, CITYPARK was built next door to the Schlafly tap room.

“St. Louis is a sports town, and the tradition of soccer is deep-rooted here. Or we joke, St. Louis is a drinking town with a soccer problem — we even have shirts that say this,” said Kelly Ennis, the company’s Marketing Director.

To engage with the local soccer fans and celebrate the team’s inaugural home match, Schlafly brewed a beer specifically for soccer fans: Supporter’s Session.

“It’s a modern American take on the sessionable British Golden Ales that can be found throughout UK pubs and enjoyed before matches by supporters across the pond,” Ennis explained.

READ MORE: Are Outdoor Brewery Events Part Of Your Game Plan?

Rallying around a local team can help drive business. Take Cincinnati’s MadTree for example. Trevor Self says the brewery is a hot spot for sports connections.

“Major sporting events will definitely draw a crowd before and after the game, or if it is away, people will come to watch,” he said. “Here in Cincinnati, we’ve seen a huge increase during playoff football as the Bengals have had an incredible past two seasons. Our FC Cincinnati soccer team also draws a lot of traffic.”

The brewery made a beer called “Rounding Third” paying homage to the Reds that everyone gets excited about for Opening Day and baseball.

“Even seemingly random things like a ceramics convention drew large crowds to our Alcove kitchen and bar downtown,” Self said.

Themed drinks and food, promotions of pitchers or buckets of products, swag that relates, and creating media/content that joins in the fun or moment are huge bits of help for MadTree and it’s encouraged for breweries to think ahead for these events.

“Also, just general awareness as well as being a respected and well-liked brand will help as people coming for the event from out of town ask where they should go,” Self added. Google is a driver as well, which again lends to the location aspect.

“(It) goes a long way in bringing more people to your spaces,” Self said.

TailGate’s most successful promotions are partnerships with the team itself.

“Relying on that captive audience to spread awareness about our brand is what we see will lead to long-term growth,” Tarry said. “We’re also working on long-term projects like getting more folks to enter through the gate that borders our patio and getting more presence in the venue.”

Schlafly has partnered with the local soccer supporters’ group to throw a pre-game party before every home match.

“Large crowds of soccer fans pack the closed street outside our Tap Room, next to the MLS stadium,” Ennis said. “The pre-match celebration includes music, food, and of course, cold Schlafly beer.”

The main avenue of promotion is social media, she said.

“With the combination of the supporter’s group’s audience plus our own, we’ve seen a 500% increase in traffic to our brewpub on game days,” Ennis said.

In Portland, the NBA’s TrailBlazer games, along with shows and concerts at the nearby Moda Center, help bring traffic into Ecliptic’s Mothership location.

Colette Becker said that one promotion Ecliptic has done is to have consumers use a ticket stub return for a beer discount at the company’s Moon Room location.

“If you show a ticket from an event (either before or after the event), you will get a discounted beer,” she said. “This is a way to drive traffic to our locations as pre/post gatherings.”

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