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Help Sonoma Cider Taproom, Win Session with Killers Drummer

Help Sonoma Cider Taproom, Win Session with Killers Drummer


The Kickstarter for Sonoma Cider’s first-ever store features a Killer prize

Wikimedia Commons / Simon Davison / CC BY 2.0

The cider company is located in the heart of Sonoma wine country.

Sonoma Cider is an organic, award-winning hard cider based in Healdsburg, California, with a passionate fan base. And if you’re among those fans (or a fan of The Killers), then you’ll want to hear about this amazing opportunity.

Sonoma Cider is opening its first-ever brick-and-mortar store this October; a taproom for fans to enjoy dozens of varieties of cider on tap year-round. Sonoma Cider has started a Kickstarter to raise funds and get its fans involved in upgrading the space.

The Kickstarter has various cool gifts attached, ranging from gear to pre-opening party invites. What is by far the coolest prize, though, is an hour-long drumming session with Ronnie Vannucci, friend of Sonoma Cider and drummer for The Killers. Plus, the winner of this prize will receive a pair of signed drumsticks.

The taproom will have 5,500 square feet of cidery goodness—but they need your money (and enthusiasm) to make their dream a reality. If you want to help (or score that Killer drum lesson), go to the Kickstarter.


Is 2021 The Most Important Year Ever For Your Brewery To Win A Medal?

I’ve spent most of my time this year thinking about bringing new customers into craft beer. Whether you are in North America, Australia, Asia, or Europe, the global pandemic has caused us to re-evaluate every aspect of our businesses. Today I want to examine the role beer competitions should play in your strategy. Here’s my conclusion: It’s never been more important for breweries to participate in beer competitions and to win competition medals. Smart breweries need to consider three things in making their decisions:

  1. How exclusive is the competition, do they have high enough standards to justify the costs of entry (entry fee, time, marketing, travel, etc.)?
  2. Do consumers understand the value of a win and are you prepared to dedicate resources to tell them about your success (or failure)?
  3. With so many new competitions, how do you choose the right ones?

“New beer drinkers don’t necessarily have the education to understand the flavor nuances of yeast strains or hop profiles, but everyone knows what a gold medal is." Dr. Ian Parkman, University of Portland (USA)

The current relationship between craft breweries and new craft drinkers is dangerous in many ways. Much like the wine industry in 2001, current craft beers require a lot of education on the part of consumers for them to feel confident in their purchase decisions. Back in 2001, wine industry messages focused on the land the wine grapes were grown in (terroir), the prestige of the winemaker, the complexity of the wine, and wine labels often had a chateau on them, even if there was no chateau on the property itself. For new wine drinkers this was an intimidating place – and many potential new customers simply opted out of wine altogether so they wouldn’t look stupid during their purchase experience.

Prior to the pandemic, it was OK for breweries to expect a fair bit of education among beer drinkers because we had the infrastructure in place to educate them. Wholesale sales reps were trained on the nuances of the beers they sold and were incentivized to continue learning about their products and thus, incentivized to teach their buyers. Beer drinkers visiting taprooms (pre-pandemic) could use servers and brewers as an interactive resource library and grow their knowledge in a safe and fun atmosphere. Post-pandemic, we will certainly love to reopen our taprooms and educate new beer drinkers as they visit, but what about all the Direct To Consumer (DTC) sales and mobile ordering features we’ve implemented during the pandemic? Don’t we all love those new channels and their higher margins? If you’ve made a big bet on mobile and you want to grow this channel, which one of these two options will be most successful on those small screens?

  • A list of hop profiles, aromas, and technical brewing statistics that requires three screen scrolls to get to the “buy now” button
  • A giant picture of a recent gold medal on the first screen with a “buy now” button

Amazon has made billions by displaying information on a single screen with one click purchase functionality. They don’t use words, rather they use images, symbols and videos. Beer drinkers new and old expect this kind of functionality and get frustrated when it isn’t there. Can a gold medal from a prestigious beer competition signal quality and drive sales for your brewery? Let’s ask some of the world’s most prominent academics and brewers what they think heading into 2021 and beyond.


Is 2021 The Most Important Year Ever For Your Brewery To Win A Medal?

I’ve spent most of my time this year thinking about bringing new customers into craft beer. Whether you are in North America, Australia, Asia, or Europe, the global pandemic has caused us to re-evaluate every aspect of our businesses. Today I want to examine the role beer competitions should play in your strategy. Here’s my conclusion: It’s never been more important for breweries to participate in beer competitions and to win competition medals. Smart breweries need to consider three things in making their decisions:

  1. How exclusive is the competition, do they have high enough standards to justify the costs of entry (entry fee, time, marketing, travel, etc.)?
  2. Do consumers understand the value of a win and are you prepared to dedicate resources to tell them about your success (or failure)?
  3. With so many new competitions, how do you choose the right ones?

“New beer drinkers don’t necessarily have the education to understand the flavor nuances of yeast strains or hop profiles, but everyone knows what a gold medal is." Dr. Ian Parkman, University of Portland (USA)

The current relationship between craft breweries and new craft drinkers is dangerous in many ways. Much like the wine industry in 2001, current craft beers require a lot of education on the part of consumers for them to feel confident in their purchase decisions. Back in 2001, wine industry messages focused on the land the wine grapes were grown in (terroir), the prestige of the winemaker, the complexity of the wine, and wine labels often had a chateau on them, even if there was no chateau on the property itself. For new wine drinkers this was an intimidating place – and many potential new customers simply opted out of wine altogether so they wouldn’t look stupid during their purchase experience.

Prior to the pandemic, it was OK for breweries to expect a fair bit of education among beer drinkers because we had the infrastructure in place to educate them. Wholesale sales reps were trained on the nuances of the beers they sold and were incentivized to continue learning about their products and thus, incentivized to teach their buyers. Beer drinkers visiting taprooms (pre-pandemic) could use servers and brewers as an interactive resource library and grow their knowledge in a safe and fun atmosphere. Post-pandemic, we will certainly love to reopen our taprooms and educate new beer drinkers as they visit, but what about all the Direct To Consumer (DTC) sales and mobile ordering features we’ve implemented during the pandemic? Don’t we all love those new channels and their higher margins? If you’ve made a big bet on mobile and you want to grow this channel, which one of these two options will be most successful on those small screens?

  • A list of hop profiles, aromas, and technical brewing statistics that requires three screen scrolls to get to the “buy now” button
  • A giant picture of a recent gold medal on the first screen with a “buy now” button

Amazon has made billions by displaying information on a single screen with one click purchase functionality. They don’t use words, rather they use images, symbols and videos. Beer drinkers new and old expect this kind of functionality and get frustrated when it isn’t there. Can a gold medal from a prestigious beer competition signal quality and drive sales for your brewery? Let’s ask some of the world’s most prominent academics and brewers what they think heading into 2021 and beyond.


Is 2021 The Most Important Year Ever For Your Brewery To Win A Medal?

I’ve spent most of my time this year thinking about bringing new customers into craft beer. Whether you are in North America, Australia, Asia, or Europe, the global pandemic has caused us to re-evaluate every aspect of our businesses. Today I want to examine the role beer competitions should play in your strategy. Here’s my conclusion: It’s never been more important for breweries to participate in beer competitions and to win competition medals. Smart breweries need to consider three things in making their decisions:

  1. How exclusive is the competition, do they have high enough standards to justify the costs of entry (entry fee, time, marketing, travel, etc.)?
  2. Do consumers understand the value of a win and are you prepared to dedicate resources to tell them about your success (or failure)?
  3. With so many new competitions, how do you choose the right ones?

“New beer drinkers don’t necessarily have the education to understand the flavor nuances of yeast strains or hop profiles, but everyone knows what a gold medal is." Dr. Ian Parkman, University of Portland (USA)

The current relationship between craft breweries and new craft drinkers is dangerous in many ways. Much like the wine industry in 2001, current craft beers require a lot of education on the part of consumers for them to feel confident in their purchase decisions. Back in 2001, wine industry messages focused on the land the wine grapes were grown in (terroir), the prestige of the winemaker, the complexity of the wine, and wine labels often had a chateau on them, even if there was no chateau on the property itself. For new wine drinkers this was an intimidating place – and many potential new customers simply opted out of wine altogether so they wouldn’t look stupid during their purchase experience.

Prior to the pandemic, it was OK for breweries to expect a fair bit of education among beer drinkers because we had the infrastructure in place to educate them. Wholesale sales reps were trained on the nuances of the beers they sold and were incentivized to continue learning about their products and thus, incentivized to teach their buyers. Beer drinkers visiting taprooms (pre-pandemic) could use servers and brewers as an interactive resource library and grow their knowledge in a safe and fun atmosphere. Post-pandemic, we will certainly love to reopen our taprooms and educate new beer drinkers as they visit, but what about all the Direct To Consumer (DTC) sales and mobile ordering features we’ve implemented during the pandemic? Don’t we all love those new channels and their higher margins? If you’ve made a big bet on mobile and you want to grow this channel, which one of these two options will be most successful on those small screens?

  • A list of hop profiles, aromas, and technical brewing statistics that requires three screen scrolls to get to the “buy now” button
  • A giant picture of a recent gold medal on the first screen with a “buy now” button

Amazon has made billions by displaying information on a single screen with one click purchase functionality. They don’t use words, rather they use images, symbols and videos. Beer drinkers new and old expect this kind of functionality and get frustrated when it isn’t there. Can a gold medal from a prestigious beer competition signal quality and drive sales for your brewery? Let’s ask some of the world’s most prominent academics and brewers what they think heading into 2021 and beyond.


Is 2021 The Most Important Year Ever For Your Brewery To Win A Medal?

I’ve spent most of my time this year thinking about bringing new customers into craft beer. Whether you are in North America, Australia, Asia, or Europe, the global pandemic has caused us to re-evaluate every aspect of our businesses. Today I want to examine the role beer competitions should play in your strategy. Here’s my conclusion: It’s never been more important for breweries to participate in beer competitions and to win competition medals. Smart breweries need to consider three things in making their decisions:

  1. How exclusive is the competition, do they have high enough standards to justify the costs of entry (entry fee, time, marketing, travel, etc.)?
  2. Do consumers understand the value of a win and are you prepared to dedicate resources to tell them about your success (or failure)?
  3. With so many new competitions, how do you choose the right ones?

“New beer drinkers don’t necessarily have the education to understand the flavor nuances of yeast strains or hop profiles, but everyone knows what a gold medal is." Dr. Ian Parkman, University of Portland (USA)

The current relationship between craft breweries and new craft drinkers is dangerous in many ways. Much like the wine industry in 2001, current craft beers require a lot of education on the part of consumers for them to feel confident in their purchase decisions. Back in 2001, wine industry messages focused on the land the wine grapes were grown in (terroir), the prestige of the winemaker, the complexity of the wine, and wine labels often had a chateau on them, even if there was no chateau on the property itself. For new wine drinkers this was an intimidating place – and many potential new customers simply opted out of wine altogether so they wouldn’t look stupid during their purchase experience.

Prior to the pandemic, it was OK for breweries to expect a fair bit of education among beer drinkers because we had the infrastructure in place to educate them. Wholesale sales reps were trained on the nuances of the beers they sold and were incentivized to continue learning about their products and thus, incentivized to teach their buyers. Beer drinkers visiting taprooms (pre-pandemic) could use servers and brewers as an interactive resource library and grow their knowledge in a safe and fun atmosphere. Post-pandemic, we will certainly love to reopen our taprooms and educate new beer drinkers as they visit, but what about all the Direct To Consumer (DTC) sales and mobile ordering features we’ve implemented during the pandemic? Don’t we all love those new channels and their higher margins? If you’ve made a big bet on mobile and you want to grow this channel, which one of these two options will be most successful on those small screens?

  • A list of hop profiles, aromas, and technical brewing statistics that requires three screen scrolls to get to the “buy now” button
  • A giant picture of a recent gold medal on the first screen with a “buy now” button

Amazon has made billions by displaying information on a single screen with one click purchase functionality. They don’t use words, rather they use images, symbols and videos. Beer drinkers new and old expect this kind of functionality and get frustrated when it isn’t there. Can a gold medal from a prestigious beer competition signal quality and drive sales for your brewery? Let’s ask some of the world’s most prominent academics and brewers what they think heading into 2021 and beyond.


Is 2021 The Most Important Year Ever For Your Brewery To Win A Medal?

I’ve spent most of my time this year thinking about bringing new customers into craft beer. Whether you are in North America, Australia, Asia, or Europe, the global pandemic has caused us to re-evaluate every aspect of our businesses. Today I want to examine the role beer competitions should play in your strategy. Here’s my conclusion: It’s never been more important for breweries to participate in beer competitions and to win competition medals. Smart breweries need to consider three things in making their decisions:

  1. How exclusive is the competition, do they have high enough standards to justify the costs of entry (entry fee, time, marketing, travel, etc.)?
  2. Do consumers understand the value of a win and are you prepared to dedicate resources to tell them about your success (or failure)?
  3. With so many new competitions, how do you choose the right ones?

“New beer drinkers don’t necessarily have the education to understand the flavor nuances of yeast strains or hop profiles, but everyone knows what a gold medal is." Dr. Ian Parkman, University of Portland (USA)

The current relationship between craft breweries and new craft drinkers is dangerous in many ways. Much like the wine industry in 2001, current craft beers require a lot of education on the part of consumers for them to feel confident in their purchase decisions. Back in 2001, wine industry messages focused on the land the wine grapes were grown in (terroir), the prestige of the winemaker, the complexity of the wine, and wine labels often had a chateau on them, even if there was no chateau on the property itself. For new wine drinkers this was an intimidating place – and many potential new customers simply opted out of wine altogether so they wouldn’t look stupid during their purchase experience.

Prior to the pandemic, it was OK for breweries to expect a fair bit of education among beer drinkers because we had the infrastructure in place to educate them. Wholesale sales reps were trained on the nuances of the beers they sold and were incentivized to continue learning about their products and thus, incentivized to teach their buyers. Beer drinkers visiting taprooms (pre-pandemic) could use servers and brewers as an interactive resource library and grow their knowledge in a safe and fun atmosphere. Post-pandemic, we will certainly love to reopen our taprooms and educate new beer drinkers as they visit, but what about all the Direct To Consumer (DTC) sales and mobile ordering features we’ve implemented during the pandemic? Don’t we all love those new channels and their higher margins? If you’ve made a big bet on mobile and you want to grow this channel, which one of these two options will be most successful on those small screens?

  • A list of hop profiles, aromas, and technical brewing statistics that requires three screen scrolls to get to the “buy now” button
  • A giant picture of a recent gold medal on the first screen with a “buy now” button

Amazon has made billions by displaying information on a single screen with one click purchase functionality. They don’t use words, rather they use images, symbols and videos. Beer drinkers new and old expect this kind of functionality and get frustrated when it isn’t there. Can a gold medal from a prestigious beer competition signal quality and drive sales for your brewery? Let’s ask some of the world’s most prominent academics and brewers what they think heading into 2021 and beyond.


Is 2021 The Most Important Year Ever For Your Brewery To Win A Medal?

I’ve spent most of my time this year thinking about bringing new customers into craft beer. Whether you are in North America, Australia, Asia, or Europe, the global pandemic has caused us to re-evaluate every aspect of our businesses. Today I want to examine the role beer competitions should play in your strategy. Here’s my conclusion: It’s never been more important for breweries to participate in beer competitions and to win competition medals. Smart breweries need to consider three things in making their decisions:

  1. How exclusive is the competition, do they have high enough standards to justify the costs of entry (entry fee, time, marketing, travel, etc.)?
  2. Do consumers understand the value of a win and are you prepared to dedicate resources to tell them about your success (or failure)?
  3. With so many new competitions, how do you choose the right ones?

“New beer drinkers don’t necessarily have the education to understand the flavor nuances of yeast strains or hop profiles, but everyone knows what a gold medal is." Dr. Ian Parkman, University of Portland (USA)

The current relationship between craft breweries and new craft drinkers is dangerous in many ways. Much like the wine industry in 2001, current craft beers require a lot of education on the part of consumers for them to feel confident in their purchase decisions. Back in 2001, wine industry messages focused on the land the wine grapes were grown in (terroir), the prestige of the winemaker, the complexity of the wine, and wine labels often had a chateau on them, even if there was no chateau on the property itself. For new wine drinkers this was an intimidating place – and many potential new customers simply opted out of wine altogether so they wouldn’t look stupid during their purchase experience.

Prior to the pandemic, it was OK for breweries to expect a fair bit of education among beer drinkers because we had the infrastructure in place to educate them. Wholesale sales reps were trained on the nuances of the beers they sold and were incentivized to continue learning about their products and thus, incentivized to teach their buyers. Beer drinkers visiting taprooms (pre-pandemic) could use servers and brewers as an interactive resource library and grow their knowledge in a safe and fun atmosphere. Post-pandemic, we will certainly love to reopen our taprooms and educate new beer drinkers as they visit, but what about all the Direct To Consumer (DTC) sales and mobile ordering features we’ve implemented during the pandemic? Don’t we all love those new channels and their higher margins? If you’ve made a big bet on mobile and you want to grow this channel, which one of these two options will be most successful on those small screens?

  • A list of hop profiles, aromas, and technical brewing statistics that requires three screen scrolls to get to the “buy now” button
  • A giant picture of a recent gold medal on the first screen with a “buy now” button

Amazon has made billions by displaying information on a single screen with one click purchase functionality. They don’t use words, rather they use images, symbols and videos. Beer drinkers new and old expect this kind of functionality and get frustrated when it isn’t there. Can a gold medal from a prestigious beer competition signal quality and drive sales for your brewery? Let’s ask some of the world’s most prominent academics and brewers what they think heading into 2021 and beyond.


Is 2021 The Most Important Year Ever For Your Brewery To Win A Medal?

I’ve spent most of my time this year thinking about bringing new customers into craft beer. Whether you are in North America, Australia, Asia, or Europe, the global pandemic has caused us to re-evaluate every aspect of our businesses. Today I want to examine the role beer competitions should play in your strategy. Here’s my conclusion: It’s never been more important for breweries to participate in beer competitions and to win competition medals. Smart breweries need to consider three things in making their decisions:

  1. How exclusive is the competition, do they have high enough standards to justify the costs of entry (entry fee, time, marketing, travel, etc.)?
  2. Do consumers understand the value of a win and are you prepared to dedicate resources to tell them about your success (or failure)?
  3. With so many new competitions, how do you choose the right ones?

“New beer drinkers don’t necessarily have the education to understand the flavor nuances of yeast strains or hop profiles, but everyone knows what a gold medal is." Dr. Ian Parkman, University of Portland (USA)

The current relationship between craft breweries and new craft drinkers is dangerous in many ways. Much like the wine industry in 2001, current craft beers require a lot of education on the part of consumers for them to feel confident in their purchase decisions. Back in 2001, wine industry messages focused on the land the wine grapes were grown in (terroir), the prestige of the winemaker, the complexity of the wine, and wine labels often had a chateau on them, even if there was no chateau on the property itself. For new wine drinkers this was an intimidating place – and many potential new customers simply opted out of wine altogether so they wouldn’t look stupid during their purchase experience.

Prior to the pandemic, it was OK for breweries to expect a fair bit of education among beer drinkers because we had the infrastructure in place to educate them. Wholesale sales reps were trained on the nuances of the beers they sold and were incentivized to continue learning about their products and thus, incentivized to teach their buyers. Beer drinkers visiting taprooms (pre-pandemic) could use servers and brewers as an interactive resource library and grow their knowledge in a safe and fun atmosphere. Post-pandemic, we will certainly love to reopen our taprooms and educate new beer drinkers as they visit, but what about all the Direct To Consumer (DTC) sales and mobile ordering features we’ve implemented during the pandemic? Don’t we all love those new channels and their higher margins? If you’ve made a big bet on mobile and you want to grow this channel, which one of these two options will be most successful on those small screens?

  • A list of hop profiles, aromas, and technical brewing statistics that requires three screen scrolls to get to the “buy now” button
  • A giant picture of a recent gold medal on the first screen with a “buy now” button

Amazon has made billions by displaying information on a single screen with one click purchase functionality. They don’t use words, rather they use images, symbols and videos. Beer drinkers new and old expect this kind of functionality and get frustrated when it isn’t there. Can a gold medal from a prestigious beer competition signal quality and drive sales for your brewery? Let’s ask some of the world’s most prominent academics and brewers what they think heading into 2021 and beyond.


Is 2021 The Most Important Year Ever For Your Brewery To Win A Medal?

I’ve spent most of my time this year thinking about bringing new customers into craft beer. Whether you are in North America, Australia, Asia, or Europe, the global pandemic has caused us to re-evaluate every aspect of our businesses. Today I want to examine the role beer competitions should play in your strategy. Here’s my conclusion: It’s never been more important for breweries to participate in beer competitions and to win competition medals. Smart breweries need to consider three things in making their decisions:

  1. How exclusive is the competition, do they have high enough standards to justify the costs of entry (entry fee, time, marketing, travel, etc.)?
  2. Do consumers understand the value of a win and are you prepared to dedicate resources to tell them about your success (or failure)?
  3. With so many new competitions, how do you choose the right ones?

“New beer drinkers don’t necessarily have the education to understand the flavor nuances of yeast strains or hop profiles, but everyone knows what a gold medal is." Dr. Ian Parkman, University of Portland (USA)

The current relationship between craft breweries and new craft drinkers is dangerous in many ways. Much like the wine industry in 2001, current craft beers require a lot of education on the part of consumers for them to feel confident in their purchase decisions. Back in 2001, wine industry messages focused on the land the wine grapes were grown in (terroir), the prestige of the winemaker, the complexity of the wine, and wine labels often had a chateau on them, even if there was no chateau on the property itself. For new wine drinkers this was an intimidating place – and many potential new customers simply opted out of wine altogether so they wouldn’t look stupid during their purchase experience.

Prior to the pandemic, it was OK for breweries to expect a fair bit of education among beer drinkers because we had the infrastructure in place to educate them. Wholesale sales reps were trained on the nuances of the beers they sold and were incentivized to continue learning about their products and thus, incentivized to teach their buyers. Beer drinkers visiting taprooms (pre-pandemic) could use servers and brewers as an interactive resource library and grow their knowledge in a safe and fun atmosphere. Post-pandemic, we will certainly love to reopen our taprooms and educate new beer drinkers as they visit, but what about all the Direct To Consumer (DTC) sales and mobile ordering features we’ve implemented during the pandemic? Don’t we all love those new channels and their higher margins? If you’ve made a big bet on mobile and you want to grow this channel, which one of these two options will be most successful on those small screens?

  • A list of hop profiles, aromas, and technical brewing statistics that requires three screen scrolls to get to the “buy now” button
  • A giant picture of a recent gold medal on the first screen with a “buy now” button

Amazon has made billions by displaying information on a single screen with one click purchase functionality. They don’t use words, rather they use images, symbols and videos. Beer drinkers new and old expect this kind of functionality and get frustrated when it isn’t there. Can a gold medal from a prestigious beer competition signal quality and drive sales for your brewery? Let’s ask some of the world’s most prominent academics and brewers what they think heading into 2021 and beyond.


Is 2021 The Most Important Year Ever For Your Brewery To Win A Medal?

I’ve spent most of my time this year thinking about bringing new customers into craft beer. Whether you are in North America, Australia, Asia, or Europe, the global pandemic has caused us to re-evaluate every aspect of our businesses. Today I want to examine the role beer competitions should play in your strategy. Here’s my conclusion: It’s never been more important for breweries to participate in beer competitions and to win competition medals. Smart breweries need to consider three things in making their decisions:

  1. How exclusive is the competition, do they have high enough standards to justify the costs of entry (entry fee, time, marketing, travel, etc.)?
  2. Do consumers understand the value of a win and are you prepared to dedicate resources to tell them about your success (or failure)?
  3. With so many new competitions, how do you choose the right ones?

“New beer drinkers don’t necessarily have the education to understand the flavor nuances of yeast strains or hop profiles, but everyone knows what a gold medal is." Dr. Ian Parkman, University of Portland (USA)

The current relationship between craft breweries and new craft drinkers is dangerous in many ways. Much like the wine industry in 2001, current craft beers require a lot of education on the part of consumers for them to feel confident in their purchase decisions. Back in 2001, wine industry messages focused on the land the wine grapes were grown in (terroir), the prestige of the winemaker, the complexity of the wine, and wine labels often had a chateau on them, even if there was no chateau on the property itself. For new wine drinkers this was an intimidating place – and many potential new customers simply opted out of wine altogether so they wouldn’t look stupid during their purchase experience.

Prior to the pandemic, it was OK for breweries to expect a fair bit of education among beer drinkers because we had the infrastructure in place to educate them. Wholesale sales reps were trained on the nuances of the beers they sold and were incentivized to continue learning about their products and thus, incentivized to teach their buyers. Beer drinkers visiting taprooms (pre-pandemic) could use servers and brewers as an interactive resource library and grow their knowledge in a safe and fun atmosphere. Post-pandemic, we will certainly love to reopen our taprooms and educate new beer drinkers as they visit, but what about all the Direct To Consumer (DTC) sales and mobile ordering features we’ve implemented during the pandemic? Don’t we all love those new channels and their higher margins? If you’ve made a big bet on mobile and you want to grow this channel, which one of these two options will be most successful on those small screens?

  • A list of hop profiles, aromas, and technical brewing statistics that requires three screen scrolls to get to the “buy now” button
  • A giant picture of a recent gold medal on the first screen with a “buy now” button

Amazon has made billions by displaying information on a single screen with one click purchase functionality. They don’t use words, rather they use images, symbols and videos. Beer drinkers new and old expect this kind of functionality and get frustrated when it isn’t there. Can a gold medal from a prestigious beer competition signal quality and drive sales for your brewery? Let’s ask some of the world’s most prominent academics and brewers what they think heading into 2021 and beyond.


Is 2021 The Most Important Year Ever For Your Brewery To Win A Medal?

I’ve spent most of my time this year thinking about bringing new customers into craft beer. Whether you are in North America, Australia, Asia, or Europe, the global pandemic has caused us to re-evaluate every aspect of our businesses. Today I want to examine the role beer competitions should play in your strategy. Here’s my conclusion: It’s never been more important for breweries to participate in beer competitions and to win competition medals. Smart breweries need to consider three things in making their decisions:

  1. How exclusive is the competition, do they have high enough standards to justify the costs of entry (entry fee, time, marketing, travel, etc.)?
  2. Do consumers understand the value of a win and are you prepared to dedicate resources to tell them about your success (or failure)?
  3. With so many new competitions, how do you choose the right ones?

“New beer drinkers don’t necessarily have the education to understand the flavor nuances of yeast strains or hop profiles, but everyone knows what a gold medal is." Dr. Ian Parkman, University of Portland (USA)

The current relationship between craft breweries and new craft drinkers is dangerous in many ways. Much like the wine industry in 2001, current craft beers require a lot of education on the part of consumers for them to feel confident in their purchase decisions. Back in 2001, wine industry messages focused on the land the wine grapes were grown in (terroir), the prestige of the winemaker, the complexity of the wine, and wine labels often had a chateau on them, even if there was no chateau on the property itself. For new wine drinkers this was an intimidating place – and many potential new customers simply opted out of wine altogether so they wouldn’t look stupid during their purchase experience.

Prior to the pandemic, it was OK for breweries to expect a fair bit of education among beer drinkers because we had the infrastructure in place to educate them. Wholesale sales reps were trained on the nuances of the beers they sold and were incentivized to continue learning about their products and thus, incentivized to teach their buyers. Beer drinkers visiting taprooms (pre-pandemic) could use servers and brewers as an interactive resource library and grow their knowledge in a safe and fun atmosphere. Post-pandemic, we will certainly love to reopen our taprooms and educate new beer drinkers as they visit, but what about all the Direct To Consumer (DTC) sales and mobile ordering features we’ve implemented during the pandemic? Don’t we all love those new channels and their higher margins? If you’ve made a big bet on mobile and you want to grow this channel, which one of these two options will be most successful on those small screens?

  • A list of hop profiles, aromas, and technical brewing statistics that requires three screen scrolls to get to the “buy now” button
  • A giant picture of a recent gold medal on the first screen with a “buy now” button

Amazon has made billions by displaying information on a single screen with one click purchase functionality. They don’t use words, rather they use images, symbols and videos. Beer drinkers new and old expect this kind of functionality and get frustrated when it isn’t there. Can a gold medal from a prestigious beer competition signal quality and drive sales for your brewery? Let’s ask some of the world’s most prominent academics and brewers what they think heading into 2021 and beyond.


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