It’s no secret that Americans love their craft beer. While the major corporations like Anheuser-Busch and Molson Coors obviously dominate the overall market, craft beer sales have increasingly been pushing their way into action.
Yes, the boom in craft beer is real. The overall U.S. beer market generated $105.9 billion in 2015, with $22.3 billion coming from craft beer, a 16% increase from 2014. Traditional craft beer titans such as Sam Adams and Sierra Nevada routinely round out the top of the list, but smaller companies are beginning to pop up everywhere. Since 2009, the number of breweries in the U.S. has doubles and, in 2012, small and independent craft brewers contributed $33.9 billion to the U.S. economy.
Naturally, you want your up-and-coming brewery to get in on the action. But how? Like at any small business, growing can be a challenge. With so many other competitors in the market, it’s important you do what you can to separate yourself from the other way.
Here are some tips and advice for small-time craft brewers:
- Stand out in the market: If everything you do at your brewery is the same at others, how is this going to entice customers to buy your beer our visit your brewery instead? Hint: it won’t. The great thing about small beer companies how much room for creativity there is. You need to think about who you are ideal customer us and tailor your market and advertising to that group. It isn’t much use just blanket marketing to every twenty-something in the U.S. While millennials seem like they’re all the same, they’re not. Additionally, try to offer something that other breweries aren’t, whether it’s with your beer or just make visiting your brewery special in a way that others can’t replicate.
- Ethos and philosophy: Microbreweries are known for having distinct and pleasurable cultures, and this unique attribute is one of the things that appeals to customers. If you look at the microbrewery landscape, some of the biggest players are known for their inimitable style and approach to craft beer. For instance, it’s hard to truly distinguish between Bud Light and Coors Light—all of those brands tend to blend together. But with microbrews, you really can point out specific differences when comparing Sam Adams to Sierra Nevada, or Stone to Dogfish Head. It’s important for you to decide what type of personality you want your brewery to have before starting out.
- Brewery loans: Like any small business, financing is going to play a major role in the beginning phases of your brewery. One thing you obviously need to think about it: Where is the financing going to come from? The most common routes young breweries take for financing are self-funding, investors, or a brewery loan. Pick whatever option works best for you, and make sure you are allocating the money in the right places and being as resourceful as possible.