Facing empty taprooms, closed bars, and empty sports arenas. Some distilleries were compelled to divert their IPAs and pilsners to the production of hand sanitizer, forcing them to discard their tap beer.
However, the initial few months of economic instability sparked a wave of adaptability and innovation. Breweries have developed new and creative methods to interact with their consumers, such as handing them a cold beer. Indeed Brewing’s sales director Ryan Bandy adds that it’s always been claimed that beer is recession-proof, and now we’ve proved that it’s pandemic-proof.
Breweries were compelled to change course due to the outbreak of the disease. It was during the quarantine that brewers were able to take stock of their existing branding strategy. To better match their marketing, sales, and packaging with their post-COVID-19 strategic objectives. And this affected breweries and suppliers alike: think equipment and ingredients like wheat, barley, and Citra hops suppliers.
With more than 8,700 breweries in the United States, the competition is fierce, and the number of breweries “in development” is expected to grow by 1,200 soon. It’s not only the beer business that’s becoming more competitive; there’s also a massive increase of new alcoholic canned drinks. Wine, THC, and ready-to-drink cocktails provide a bewildering array of options for consumers, further separating tastes and generating unique preferences. As a result of this, promoting particular brands has never been more challenging.
Breweries must experiment with new marketing channels and fresh content to break through the very thick congestion that customers see today in the adult beverage sector to overcome these marketing obstacles.
Brews Direct To Consumer
One of the unintended consequences of COVID-19 for the craft beer sector was the relaxation of regulations governing beer shipment and home delivery to DTC (direct-to-consumer) customers. Delivery rules were eased to enable taprooms to compensate for lost in-person sales when breweries closed around the nation last year.
Since the epidemic outbreak, 25% of craft beer consumers have purchased beer from a brewery and had it delivered to their house, according to a SOVOS survey, with 7/10 respondents indicating they are interested in having craft beer delivered to their homes.
Seventy percent of brewery owners indicated they would utilize direct-to-consumer shipping if it were allowed in their state, according to the SOVOS study. In 2021, craft brewers should expect DTC craft beer delivery to remain a significant growth area.
To adapt to changing in-person customer behavior in the post-pandemic period, brewers were forced to meet essential new requirements, including expanding outside seating, limiting the number of people who can sit inside, and offering contactless payment.
As local and state laws changed, breweries had to rapidly modify their websites and taprooms with new hospitality technology to stay current with their customers’ needs for safety, comfort, and enjoyment.
It is now possible to use anything from specialized POS software and smart kegs to NFC business cards. The use of brewery technology and the valuable data it generates is now essential for successful brewery operations and expansion.
Marketers must embrace the new on-premises dynamics and demonstrate in their materials how these new technologies and procedures assist in making the customer experience quicker, safer, and better for them. They should.
Taprooms & Brewery Spaces
It’s costly to rent office space and commercial real estate, particularly now that the virus has spread worldwide. That’s given new commercial brewing ideas, such as co-brewing spaces, a boost that they weren’t getting before COVID-19.
In some ways, co-brewing facilities are like co-working spaces like WeWork, but they are tailored specifically for craft brewers who want to take their business to a broader audience. Most of them are licensed to provide full-customer experiences in built-in taprooms and have brand-new brewing, packaging, and distribution facilities.
Due to financial constraints, breweries that are just starting or are on the cusp of success can not construct their brewing facility. Co-brewing spaces, apart from bringing brewers together to exchange ideas and resources, also bring facilities and property owners together.
COVID-19-related taproom closures have been reduced, thanks in large part to improved distribution. According to a Brewers Association impact assessment, brewery delivery sales increased by 31.8 percent just over six weeks after the outbreak. It took just a few weeks for the beer industry to alter its business model, and it will need to keep using these new distribution channels in the next year.
Beyond that, I’m seeing brewers use delivery to expand their goods by providing holiday gift boxes, mixed packs, and new subscription clubs, among other things. Delivery will be important in 2021, but it won’t be the only factor. Instead, the year’s highlights will be determined by what the brewers can fit in the box.