30 August 2012

If I Owned a Brewery - Part 5: Tours

Last week, I was given a tour of Pedernales Brewing Company, here in Paradise. As I chatted with the owner, Lee Hereford, I asked about regular tours. He told me there wouldn't be regular tours.  He wanted to focus on growing the brewery, and thought that civilians might distract him from that focus. I hadn't really thought about it that way, but it makes a certain amount of sense.

Meanwhile, in Dallas, Micheal Peticolas of Peticolas Brewing Company thinks about it this way:

For me, this is the entertainment industry, and if someone cares enough about my beer and my brewery to come down here, I want them to have a good time, that's all I really care about. When I do these tours, I actually want to connect with people, and talk to people, and let them know about me, about the brewery, talk to them about the beer. As a result, I do my tours on a much smaller scale, between 30 and 50 people, typically. I want everybody that comes down here to have a full mug of beer, get a chance to talk to me, if they want to talk to me, actually hear about the beer-making process, if they want to hear about the beer making process. It allows me to connect with people, I don't advertise, I don't market, I try to make my consumers my marketers. 
Again, that makes a certain amount of sense. If you want people to ask for your beer, you have to get them to sample your beer, and a tour is a way to do that.

Desperate Measures Brewing Logo
So if I were to open, say, Desperate Measures Brewing Company™, I think I would lean towards tours. I want people to have my beer in their hand. I would probably do it up like Rahr & Sons, with a band and local non-profits selling food.

I might even do daily tours. Every day at 6 pm for two hours. Certainly I would do weekly tours. Probably Saturday afternoon. (Although, I did see a sign in Arizona brew pub that read "Free Brewery Tours Every Sunday After Church." I could see a tour on Sundays at 1 or 2 pm.)

I would certainly want them to buy t-shirts, pint glasses, and (someday when the law is changed) a couple of bottles to take home. Maybe then they would ask for my beer at the local pub or store.

And, yes, I do own the domain name for Desperate Measures Brewing Company, just in case Satan and I ever open a brewery.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 10:00

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