Coffee (Stouts) are For Closers
Once we had covered the marketing and trademarking conversation, it was time to move onto sales and distribution. Yes, most small breweries will want to sell their product over their own taproom bar for quite a while, but it is valuable to look ahead at the future. Will you sell kegs and deliver them yourself? Will you bottle bombers and work to get them placed on retail shelves? Will you attend a beer festival? All of these decisions require careful thought and planning. For that reason, we brought in Nick Gleason, Sales and Distribution Manager at Mobcraft (formerly of River City Distributing), Eric Gutbrod from Draft and Vessel and James Shiparski of the Bartolotta Group of Restaurants. Nick has a deep well of knowledge related to the distribution side and Eric and James can tell you exactly what they are thinking when a brewer or sales rep comes to sell at their bars.
The conversation turned to sales sheets and strategy after the presentation. What is important to a beer buyer? What information are they looking to hear? Do they need a sample, or will they buy sight unseen? Our participants broke into their teams and developed a strategy to sell their product to bars and restaurants in the area. Once the brands are finished and the ink has dried on the sell sheets, our participants will be ready to head into the marketplace and knock on some doors. However, it is imperative for everyone to taste the beer first, and take some with them to sell.
In the coming weeks, our participants will taste their respective beers and learn to keg it in a commercial environment. One all the hard work is done, they will be off to their own devices to see which local establishments will offer up a tap line to a new and rare beer. We’ll have a list of bars and restaurants who have tapped our kegs on our website as soon as the orders start coming in!