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9 of the Best Brewery & Craft Beer Marketing Ideas

Creating a marketing strategy for your craft brewery is simpler than you might think. Check out these craft beer marketing ideas that help breweries grow.

The craft beer market has grown exponentially over the last decade, with the number of craft breweries doubling across the country. With so much competition crowding the market, brewers must find fresh beer marketing ideas to help their products stand out. Small craft breweries, especially must feel the pressure to make a name for themselves in such a crowded market. Fortunately, consumers are always looking for another beer to try and another brewery to visit. This is why craft beer marketing is so important. 

In this post, we’ll explore nine fantastic craft beer marketing strategies that help breweries grow. Whether you’re working on a limited budget or are ready to invest in powerful marketing efforts, there is something for everyone in this post.

How to Get Started with Craft Beer Marketing

Creating a marketing strategy for your craft brewery is a lot simpler than you might think–and doesn’t have to break the budget. It is wise to first set a budget for your marketing efforts so you know exactly what steps you can take.

Set a Marketing Budget

There is much debate about how much businesses should spend on their marketing budget. Some say 5%, while others argue for 7-8% or even 10%. The reality is that there is no wrong answer when it comes to setting a marketing budget because any amount you invest in marketing is also investing in your business. Even if your aim is to spend as little as possible on marketing, you should still set a budget so you can cap your spending (or freely spend if you are under budget).

Establish a Strategy

There are countless craft beer marketing techniques and tools to choose from–but you don’t need to implement them all in order to be successful. What’s important is to build a marketing strategy that reaches different audiences in various ways. If you’re just starting to develop a marketing strategy for your craft brewery, start small. Pick two or three techniques and focus your efforts and budget on making those marketing techniques as effective as possible. 

For brewers on a budget, creating a great website, engaging on social media, and leveling up your local SEO are inexpensive yet powerful marketing strategies for businesses just starting out.

Stay Authentic

Remember to stay true to your business and yourself as you embark on marketing your craft beer. What makes your craft beer business unique is what will draw customers in, so make sure to keep your marketing techniques authentic to your business. Marketing doesn’t have to mean selling out and losing your brand voice along the way. 

9 of the Best Marketing Ideas for Brewery & Craft Beer Brands (from Budget-Friendly to Advanced)

Take your pick of these craft beer marketing ideas to grow your brewery or craft beer business.

1. Engage on Social Media

Social media marketing is powerful for any business, especially craft breweries. Social media posts help you connect with customers, share news, and information about your brewery, and more. Many brands that lean into customer service through social media notice significant benefits. According to Ambassador, 71% of users who have a good service experience with a brand on social media are more likely to recommend that company or product to others.

The strategy for good craft beer marketing on social media requires consistency in content and posting, as well as engagement with your audience. Replying to comments and direct messages is exceptionally important, but so is commenting on posts that your brand has been tagged in. User-generated content (UGC) is a powerful tool on social media, so like and share any positive posts that feature your brand. Check out the 13 Stripes Instagram page for inspiration and examples.

Learn more: How to Boost Alcohol Sales Using Social Media

2. Create a Great Website

A great website is a must for any business. Your website acts as a round-the-clock advertising and sales tool for your brand. Creating a website for your brewery can be as inexpensive or as expensive as you’d like. With so many website creation tools available, it’s very easy to create a website at little-to-no cost at all. You can also find web developers that specialize in creating websites for craft beer companies.

A brewery website should keep menu options up-to-date and readily accessible so potential customers know what to expect. Include relevant information like the brewery address, contact information, parking instructions, and event schedule. You’ll want to showcase your latest batch of craft beer or spotlight a seasonal brew you’re offering. Be sure to draft up a brief history about your brewery, your team, and your products to make your business more engaging. 

Dry Falls Brewing in Hendersonville, NC has one of the best craft beer websites to draw inspiration from.

Looking for more inspiration? Check out these top 10 Best Brewery Websites →

3. Level Up Local SEO

One thing you don’t want to forget when marketing your brewery is local SEO. Taking the time to optimize your content to reflect your location ensures you’re targeting the right market–customers that are local to your business.

Throughout your website and social pages, be sure to include content that highlights your location so local customers can find your brewery easily. Create a Google Business page so you can have control over how your business shows up in search results and what information appears. Investing in tools like Moz Local will help you manage your local listings.

Learn more: Local Marketing: How to Use "Near Me" Marketing to Reach Your Audience

4. Host Events

Breweries are a great place to socialize and relax while enjoying craft beers. Trivia nights, bingo nights, and networking events are all great ways to facilitate that environment of socialization while marketing your business. Releasing a new brew? Throw a party! Hosting events brings new business into your brewery and fosters positive experiences with your brand.

These events can be promoted through your website and social media page and can be very inexpensive if done right. Prizes can be anything from gift cards to your brewery to branded merchandise and more. Often, sales from these events far surpass the cost of putting them on.

5. Sponsor Events and Charities

Craft breweries can also sponsor events and charity fundraisers instead of hosting events themselves. Sponsoring events is a great way to build brand recognition and positive associations with your business. Participating in local charity events also deepens your connection with your community and creates lasting partnerships with other businesses in your area.

For example, the Ville to Ville Craft Brew Relay Race is an incredibly fun day-long event that is a great way for local breweries to market themselves to a wide audience. It is a 72-mile team running event that begins in beautiful Asheville, NC, and ends in Greenville, SC. The relay race route passes through local craft breweries and winds through small Southern towns. The event is sponsored by dozens of local craft breweries and other local organizations. The race ends at a craft brewery where racers are rewarded with a free brew for all their hard work. Hundreds of people attend to cheer on their family and friends along the way. 

6. Create and Sell Merchandise

Brand advocates love brand merchandise. If you have a local following for your craft brewery, start making merch for your customers to buy. T-shirts, koozies, growlers, hats, and more are all immensely popular merchandise types for craft breweries to sell. Not only do these items generate secondary income for your business, but they also help advertise and promote your brand. 

Revelry Brewing in Charleston, SC, proudly features their merchandise in their online store. Fans and customers can buy t-shirts, prints of beer can art, and pint glasses to represent their love of the craft beer company.

7. Collaborate with Other Companies

Collaborations between companies are a powerful craft beer marketing tool, especially if the companies are non-competitive but share a market segment. Coffee roasters and craft breweries are extremely common and widely popular collaborations. Delicious coffee stouts can be made as a result of these collaborations. Plus, the coffee roaster will promote the collaboration with their audience–an owned, engaged audience of individuals likely to become your customers.

8. Integrate a Product Locator

Integrate a product locator on your homepage or a separate landing page so customers can find your products in stores near them. The Grappos product locator is not only an incredibly convenient tool for your customers but is also a powerful tool for your business. Our software gathers valuable search data from your customers to help you uncover market opportunities. Best of all, our team handles the integration, customization, data management, and updates so you can focus on running your craft brewery.

Request a product locator demo from Grappos →

9. Paid Ads

Google, Facebook, and Instagram ads are powerful marketing channels for your brewery. Though costly at times, these ads can be extremely effective for drawing new business to your brewery. Be sure to use location-specific keywords to bring in local customers to your brewery. Be advised–social platforms have specific regulations in place that alcohol brands must follow when advertising their products. As long as you adhere to these guidelines, you can freely advertise your brewery.

Final Thoughts on Craft Beer Marketing

There has never been a better time to start a craft beer business, nor have there been so many readily available tools and strategies for craft beer marketing. With these craft beer marketing strategies, you should see a return on investment in the form of steady business growth, no matter if you’ve invested a lot or a little. 

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Eric Kunisawa

Founder & CEO

Eric Kunisawa is the founder of Grappos. He's been successfully helping businesses connect customers with their products since 2008.

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