One of our clients, NCM Fathom, recently charged us with helping spread the word about a documentary airing live in theaters next Thursday, Beer Wars. Beer Wars takes viewers through a tour of the U.S. beer industry, examining the challenges that craft brewers face. When you consider Colorado, we are blessed with several local microbreweries, all competing against one another and beer giant Miller Coors. I imagine successful craft brewers rely heavily on community relations and smart word-of-mouth marketing to stay afloat. Listed below are some of the unique things our state's little guys are doing. What do you think the key is to a craft brewer's success? Is it local philanthropy efforts? Strategic location in and interaction with a college town? Or perhaps something as simple as letting people tour your facility and drink your beer for free?
New Belgium (Fort Collins)
In the beginning, New Belgium embraced a 'green' philosophy - and they've stuck to it. They hold an annual "Tour de Fat, trade your car for a bike" event in multiple cities, keep bikes on site for employee use, and support causes working toward a better environment. They also do tours complete with a free flight of beer. Finally, they've tackled social media, with a beer blog on their web site and frequently updated twitter account. You see Fat Tire everywhere you go, so something must be working.
Great Divide (Denver)
A hop, skip and a homeless shelter away from Pure, Great Divide here in Denver keeps connected with their brewsletter, their blog, and via facebook and twitter. They too offer free tours, free booze at their tap house and draw locals in with beer release events and festival presence. One thing I've found that is working to their advantage is their "beer of the month" campaign in area liquor stores. They send reps to hang out in the beer aisle offering customers $1 off a six pack with a free beer thrown in.
Avery Brewing (Boulder)
Though they are located a bit off the beaten path, Avery offers live music Thursdays and open mic Sundays along with a tasting room to entice area residents. And, as evidenced by the media coverage on their site, they've taken the extra step and secured some good local and national press.
These are just three examples - know of any other good ones?