The popularity of craft beer has been skyrocketing over the past several years, and from the look of things, it’s only going to get more popular. Not only are experts on industry trends foreseeing an increase in sales for craft beers, but taprooms are predicted to become even more attractive among the young and the old alike in 2023 and beyond.
This is all good news for any microbrewery business owner, right?
As exciting as the thought can be, taking your microbrewery from a loyal local favorite to a nationally recognized brand is no easy feat. Reaching this next level of success isn’t something that can be done overnight – definitely not without some hard work and planning ahead.
But worry not! To help you reach the stars, we have put together seven useful tips and strategies on how you can take your microbrewery to the next level in 2023.
From developing a strategic growth plan, investing in quality ingredients, using digital advertising tools, and more – these tips will help show you just what it takes to become an industry leader, so read on!
1. Develop a Strategic Plan for Growth
Since competition is likely to continue increasing in the craft beer scene, setting clear, realistic targets and objectives is key to moving your brewery forward. Defining viable steps that your brand needs to take so you can achieve each goal is essential.
If we consider setting up business partnerships, most importantly, think about where you want your brewery’s operations located, and how much money it would cost. For example, understanding what sales are needed from distributors/retailers, having the right staff on board, or making certain technological changes will help bring in more business in the years ahead.
Consider all aspects of financial budgets vs. an expected level of revenue as well as operational expenditure for marketing and operational costs. Creating a detailed plan can be extremely beneficial when it comes to taking things further!
Need a little help getting started? Grab our free marketing planning and budget templates.
2. Invest in Quality Ingredients and Procedures
The quality of your ingredients and procedures will have an enormous impact on the success of your craft beer in the market. While it is important to ensure that you are budgeting responsibly, do not be afraid to invest a little extra money in getting higher-quality ingredients that contribute directly to better beer.
Also, having proper cleaning processes and rigorous quality control checks along with developing unique recipes can create stand-out beers that people enjoy more than once. Consistency is key and well thought out and followed processes and procedures will help the consistent quality of your beers shine through to your customers.
Consider taking courses about brewing processes and procedures specifically for microbreweries, and take advice from experienced veterans as well – every little bit helps when aiming for greatness!
3. Use Specialized Software as Your Microbrewery Grows
As a small business it’s easy to get in the mindset of free tools and software whenever possible. As you start to grow these systems can often get cobblestoned together and end up costing you more money in time, frustration, and lost efficiency. Know when it’s time to truly grow, an investment in more robust technology will be crucial.
To cultivate the peak efficiency of your brewery, it is wise to find systems that help manage time-consuming tasks and keep operations organized while optimizing performance and enabling better decision-making. For example, a software platform like Ollie is designed to allow you to effortlessly manage your brewing operations using its various features and functionalities.
These systems help you manage production processes, inventory, and stay on top of orders. They even let you automate mundane billing tasks, and connect easily with online retailers and distributors. Also, utilizing analytics from brewery management tools can give you real-time visibility on stock levels across different facilities, so you never miss out on critical alert notifications or miss the big picture.
Considering how much time, effort, and money it can help save for your small brewery, such a system can be an invaluable tool when wanting to take things further!
4. Improve Brand Recognition through Effective Social Media Planning
In today’s world, having an effective social media presence is just as (if not more) important as any other type of marketing. There are a few key steps that you can take to make sure your brewery’s branding is reaching the right audience and potential customers while engaging with existing patrons.
First, start by auditing your current channels to identify what’s working and what isn’t working. Then, set measurable goals and objectives (i.e. customer acquisition), and create cohesive aesthetic across all profiles. This will help bring more attention to who you are and what your brand stands for.
Also, consider pushing out regular content on topics related to craft beer culture or events such as beer festivals. If you can, make sure to invest in influencer collaborations or sponsored campaigns on social channels as well.
5. Take Advantage of Digital Advertising & Retargeting
Digital advertising is a powerful tool to leverage when aiming for more eyes on your well crafted beers. There are new opportunities that come with superb targeting techniques as well, like retargeting. These tools can identify consumer profiles and preferences, helping you to gain insight into what works best for brand recognition at any given point in time.
If done right, investing in digital ads should build up awareness within a community, showcasing the quality and allure of your brewery’s unique offerings. This type of marketing strategy can be especially useful if you want to start connecting more with far-away customers too!
Looking to master marketing?
Our Craft Alcohol Marketing Bootcamp covers everything you need to know to to help you market and grow your microbrewery.
It includes everything from building your brand story, to social media strategy, to driving tasting room traffic, to paid advertising, and more. All on your own timeline with lots of real-time support and for less than you would pay an agency for two months of social media support alone!
6. Incorporate New Types of Beer to Widen Your Reach
If you want to take your microbrewery even further, introducing new types of beer can be a great way to engage with more customers and even help you tap into an unexplored market. Just make sure you stay true to your brand story when choosing what types of beers to introduce. Consider identifying emerging trends in the craft beer industry, as well as your own city’s history or flavor profiles that best represent the character of your area.
These insights allow you to create memorable products for locals and entice people from faraway locations alike. By looking at what other breweries are doing around the world, combined with your own brand story, brewing something unique can give your microbrewery greater success moving forward.
7. Try Expansion Through Collaboration
Last but not least, it can also be a great idea to employ collaborations with restaurants, bars, and retail outlets around the country. Identifying establishments that you can make craft beer partnerships with can help open up new markets for your brewery as well as create an additional revenue stream.
Going this route also opens more doors in terms of access to special events (i.e. festivals, membership clubs, or beer-tasting boards). It is certainly worth considering when looking at scaling your business in pursuit of even greater success! Ultimately, finding other local businesses that could be willing to partner up can help both sides benefit from each other’s notoriety among craft beer fans too.
And there you have it. Elevating your microbrewery to greater heights this 2023 and beyond may not be a walk in the park, but it’s not rocket science either. It all starts by understanding the needs of your target audience, crafting and living your brand story, and leveraging tools around digital marketing to propel your venture to success. With careful planning and the above tips in mind, you could discover untapped opportunities, push your brand further, and attract more revenue.