Microbreweries have been popping up like daisies all over the northeast. As soon as 15 years ago there were only hundreds of breweries – now there are thousands and its growing every day. With ease of access to brewing materials, passion, and the drive to create something new and delicious, its commonplace to start a microbrewery in this day and age.
With so many breweries coming up in the area, it’s important to have something special (other than your awesome beers). Many breweries are dressing up their tap rooms and picnic areas, giving interactive tours, and creating an awesome online experience. This is an essential part of gaining a following and bringing your brewery to life.
Take Sam Adams in Boston, MA as an example. They’re obviously a household name throughout MA, CT, and NY but how do they bring an experience that visitors to their taproom will remember for years to come? They made it an attraction. Come to Boston, taste their specialty malts while taking a historical tour of the facility, and get a sample of a few different beers. You know why thats special? Because its completely free. Sam Adams wants you to love their beer and thats it. They’re not trying to gauge you out of money because they know when you go to the supermarket that night and go to pick up a 6 pack, you’ll choose Sam Adams.
Smuttynose in New Hampshire has a killer experience – You do have to pay for it, but its definitely worth the $6 investment. They’ve got two buildings – a tasting/tour building and a restaurant. You’ll definitely want to start at the tasting/tour. You go in and you get to choose which four beers you want. You walk up to the counter, they pour your first glass and then put a check mark on your beer card. If you wanted to, you could have four tastings of the same beer (for those of us who are picky). Then they give you a ticket that you can apply to your dinner at the restaurant (the bacon mac ‘n cheese is to die for) that grants you a discount off a pint of your choosing. Coupling their delicious beers with a great dining experience is definitely a winning strategy.
How will you set your brewery apart? There is an art to brewery branding and user experience, online and off.