Craft Beer Ingredients by Season

seasonal craft beer by Columbia Distributing

 

In the past few years, the rise of craft beer has been startling — in fact, the total number of breweries in the States rose by almost 20% from 2013 to 2014; signaling the growing popularity of the many types of flavor profiles. The market has been trying to meet the demand, and so marketing your craft brew has been easier if you do it by season.

What Does the Season Matter?

The reasoning is actually somewhat similar to the wines you should drink with different kinds of meat and chocolate; some tastes simply complement others better. As examples, it is generally acknowledged that you want to save your darker, more involved beers for the cold wintertime crowd, and your lighter beers for the spring and summer. Incorporating this into your plan will have a distinct difference in results when marketing your craft brew.

Summertime Examples

If you’ve been in business for an length of time, then you’ve probably already got a solid plan in place for marketing your craft brew; something that incorporates search marketing in your local region and even paid advertisements. The next step is to tailor the flavors such that the seasonal ones dominate. In spring and leading into the summer, you should opt for fruit beers because of the lightness they confer to the cocktail. A cool shandy — lemonade and beer mix — goes a long way on a warm summer day.

Wheat, classic pilsner and pale and hoppy beers also work for summer evenings. You’ll appreciate the citrus flavor and fleeting spiciness at a summer barbecue, for example. Make the correct measurements for the additives, though, because you do not want a heavy brew this season.

Fall Brews

The gathering clouds and markedly cooler days make way for pumpkin, maple and amber brews. Autumn is the perfect time for nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice cocktails to liven up the spirits (pun intended). The lightness of summer is gone, and American renditions of the great German beer festival known as Oktoberfest crop up in towns everywhere. Consider adding appropriately colored banners when marketing your craft brew in the online space — they will attract more attention because of the season.

Winter Brews

The season of the heavy beer, as it were. Winter is the right time to brew those thick Imperials and Stouts and Porters that were much too heavy as summertime fare. These beers are like the Old Norse meads from the time of Thor and the Asgardians — they WILL leave you full and warm — and drunk, if you have as many glasses of this as you did of the classic Pilsners last summer.

An American favorite is eggnog-inspired spirits, which are more of a dessert beer. Lastly, Winter is also a great time for bourbon and chocolate/coffee mixtures to your liquor. Market these variously-flavored brews at the right time and you should see your bottom line go up.


Keep Your Line Long At the Next Beer Fest

Photo Of Beer Being Served At A Beer Festival  -Columbia DistributingBoth craft beer distributors and beer festivals are on the rise as the appreciation of good beer spreads. However, it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle of these large-scale events. Here are tried-and-true steps to stand out and attract customers.

Don’t Use Tickets

Tickets can slow down festival operations and frustrate customers. Tickets frequently get lost and restrict how much people are willing to try, which may prevent guests from spending their precious tickets on a particular beer or trying a more adventurous flavor. Selecting festivals that follow a one-time fee to enter creates a more positive and relaxed fest vibe for both staff and festival attendees.

Sample a Big Variety

Particularly for breweries expanding to a new region, festival customers may be trying out a brand for the first time and need a lot of guidance for their sample. Others will be stopping by to grab a taste of an old favorite, or to taste the newest product from a company they respect. In any situation, craft beer distributors need to aggressively advertise their selection and share unique talking points to stand out in the crowd.

Bring Engaging Staff

Craft beer distributors should send their highest-quality, tenured staff to represent them at a festival. Customers will want to know the history of the company, ingredients in the beer, and suggestions based on a wide variety of tastes. A confident and well-trained employee can also keep people entertained in long lines and encourage social media interactions to make a lasting impression.

Provide Water & Goodies

Water is a must to stay hydrated throughout the day, and every customer will be forever grateful to the vendors that provide it. It also cleans out their glass between samples and stops residue from building up. Other freebies like stickers and buttons will help make a brewery’s brand stand out among the other booths.

There’s no shortage of popular beer festivals happening, especially across the West Coast. With these tips in mind, strategic breweries can gain exposure in new markets and ensure a happy crowd at the next fest.

Photo Credit: Hans Splinter