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So craft breweries – and the “big” guys would agree – are now lamenting tap houses? It seems so, according to THIS.

Other beer marketers agree that the rotating draft approach—while great for consumers and beneficial to many bars—is a challenge for marketers and distributors.

I have to shake my head.

Retailers – bars and restaurants – are in the business of pleasing their customers and they always want the latest thing. Craft drinkers, by their nature, regularly want to try something now. Macro brews have constantly launched “new” brands for years to fill that niche. Heck, Marketing 101 in America is always about promoting “new and improved.”

Now, some craft brewers are mad that traditional rules to brand building don’t apply?? Of course they don’t apply! The retailers are about their business…not the business of brewers or distributors. While they should be partners in each other’s success, the goals are not always the same. While craft brewers are rightly upset over the aggressiveness of the “big guys (as I’ve detailed the past two days),” they should not, in turn, try to secure privelege for themselves at the expense of the next generation.

As I’ve stated before, the future of craft brewing is likely local…not in constant growth to mega-craft brands. The days of overnight growth, largely by expansion into “virgin” territory, are over and we’re not likely to see another Sierra Nevada, Bells, Sam AdamsAbita, or Widmer again in terms of rapid business expansion. Your brewpub is where you build your brand! Believe me, if customers ask for your brand, even at spectacular tap houses, the retailer will keep it on tap.

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