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5 Key Branding Tools For A New Brewer

Posted by Boelter Beverage on December 10, 2015

For purposes of this blog, we’ll assume your brew is rock solid. (Feel free to send samples!). We'll also assume that your brewing and business plans are equally sensational. So what now? You got it. It's time to develop your brewery branding so that it captures the imagination of craft beer drinkers the way your signature beer does their taste buds.

Like all iconic brands, Brooklyn Brewery, Deschutes Brewery and Sierra Nevada were not overnight successes. Their vision, passion, and beers were only an important first step to macro microbrewery success. Their unique histories and stories behind their startups evoked personality and shared values into their marketplace appeal.

The five following branding tools are not new. The trick is in how you use each one and leverage them to your ultimate advantage.

1. Establishing Your Brand Identity

What’s in a name? Everything. Abita Brewing prides themselves on the purest ingredients in their brews, beginning with the artisan water of Abita Springs; thus, their name. And that purity messaging permeates throughout their beer styles and label designs. The more compelling your story is the greater the impact it will have on your customers, especially locally based stories. This is the first step to solid brewery branding.

2. Branding Glassware

Wouldn’t it be nice to launch with your own version of the iconic Samuel Adams glass? Save that goal for later, but in the meantime you have plenty of glass styles and printing options to choose from. New Belgium offers a signature glass. It may not be as recognizable as Samuel Adam’s but it’s a huge hit with their loyal drinkers.

3. Storytelling Drink Coasters

The drink coaster may be one the most underused branding tools. Most are round and feature the beer’s logo on both sides. Time out. Why not share your brand story on both sides? it doesn’t cost more. Or instead of round, make it a different shape that ties in better with your brand. Scratch ‘n sniff? Glow in the dark? Interactive QR codes? Drink coasters do more than you’d imagine.

4. Talking Tap Handles

Often times before the bartender can ask “What’ll it be?,” the tap handle has already spoken. Today there is no shortage of stylish tap handles. It is a marketing opportunity you won’t want to miss. They can’t be life-long customers without first sampling it. Mesmerize them with branded tap handles that call out “Pick me!,” like these goat-styled ones from Horny Goat Brewing.

5. Fashioning Wearables

Loyal customers who wear your brewery's branded apparel become brand ambassadors. Word-of-mouth advertising is part of it, but a bigger part is having them sport your brand in public. No conversation necessary! A popular choice is adding your logo to t-shirts, hats, and sweatshirts. But is there something more you can do to promote your brand? Think of creative tie-ins, like SweetWater Brewing’s outdoorsy hats.

Leveraging these five key brewery branding tools can establish the foundation you need to succeed. Looking for other brewery business tips? Draft a plan for your brewery with help from our handy business guide that covers everything from starting a brewery to product sourcing and custom solutions.

Please share your thoughts and ideas here, or on Twitter @BeerCup and Facebook.


Topics: Beer, Brand Design

Boelter Beverage

Boelter Beverage

Brewing, Distilling, Vinification—We Serve Your Craft! At Boelter Beverage, we know that what you do encompasses so much more than a beverage. Every day you pour your heart into creating the beer, spirit, wine everyone loves, and every day you’re building a personality, a philosophy, and a culture. As the craft brewing, distilling, and wine industries have grown, we have focused our attention and expertise on mastering what it means to serve your craft. Since 1970, we have been invested in your product, your mission, and your story. We are here to help you sell it and tell it.