Creative Beer Marketing Ideas

Creative Beer Marketing Ideas

Beer is now more popular than ever. Whether you’re selling the latest craft beer or traditional leading brands, people are consuming beer in bars, restaurants, breweries, festivals, and off the shelf at supermarkets and specialty stores. This also means, however, that there’s more competition than ever. How do you stand apart and sell more of your own products? Here are some innovative beer marketing strategies you can use to outsell the competition.

Tell a unique story.

As you learn in Marketing 101, most people make buying decisions emotionally rather than rationally. This is more true of beer than many other products. People drink beer to relax, unwind, and have fun. Think of the most popular beer commercials run by industry giants such as Budweiser. They don’t give you a list of ingredients or describe the brewing process. They tell stories that show how much fun everyone is having while drinking their beer. Each beer has a slightly different ideal narrative that varies according to your target audience. Do you want to cultivate an image that’s hip and youthful, salt-of-the-earth, or upscale and sophisticated? In all of your marketing efforts, focus on telling stories that will appeal to your demographic.

Partner with influencers.

Influencer marketing involves getting well-known people, especially those with large social media followings, to recommend your products. This is more subtle than hiring a celebrity for a TV or radio commercial. You want to find people who genuinely like the kind of beer you’re selling and who are highly regarded in the world in which your customers live. You don’t need A-list celebrities to do this effectively. Focus on people who are locally known in realms such as food, entertainment and, naturally, beer. Connect with influencers at tastings or festivals whenever possible. Reach out to them by offering them samples of your products. Once you’ve connected, think of ways to partner with them.

Connect with influencers at tastings or festivals whenever possible. Reach out to them by offering them samples of your products. Once you’ve connected, think of ways to partner with them. For example, you could help promote them on your own website. To be able to arrange mutually beneficial partnerships, it helps to build up your own website traffic and social media following, which we’ll discuss shortly. Even without this, however, it’s possible to get an influencer to recommend your beer if he or she really likes it.

Connect with your audience online.

Because beer is so hip now, it’s relatively easy to connect with internet savvy customers who like your products. There are many ways to do this, including SEO for your website, social media, and email marketing. Here are a few basic ideas to keep in mind.

  • Make sure you have a compelling website. Add content, such as blog posts, images and videos regularly. While this sounds time-consuming, if you devote a few minutes every day to posting at least one piece of content, your site will soon have plenty of content for the search engines and your audience to discover.
  • Be active on social media. Choose a couple of sites to focus on. A Facebook page is an important tool for building your brand. If you’re targeting youthful customers, Snapchat is a great way to reach them. Post fun and interactive content, such as coupons for your beer, contests, and information about upcoming promotions.
  • Build a mailing list. An email list, which you can promote on your website and social media pages, is a powerful way to engage with your audience. When you have people’s email addresses, it’s easy to blast out messages whenever you want to promote a sale, new product, or event.

These are just some of the ways to stay in touch with your customers and prospects. With increasing interest in beer, people are eager to learn about the latest products, news, and trends in this industry. Reach out to your audience using a variety of methods, from live events to social media. Find out where your customers get their information and make sure you’re active on these platforms. 

 

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From Yeast to Malt, This is Where Alcohol Comes From

From Yeast to Malt, This is Where Alcohol Comes From

Alcohol, specifically ethanol, is the stuff we drink. Beer, wine, whiskey, vodka, tequila, schnapps, it doesn’t matter. The alcohol itself is all the same. But where does ethanol come from? Yeast. Yeast makes alcohol. How they do it is pretty amazing.

Yeast is a microorganism, a living thing. Like all fungi, they have some plant characteristics and some animal characteristics. Yeast makes alcohol through a biological process. Sugar, dissolved in water, is ingested by the yeast organism. The sugar is metabolized, generating energy for the organism’s life processes such as reproduction. The waste product it discards consists of alcohols (primarily ethanol) and carbon dioxide.

This process is called fermentation.

Since yeast eats sugar, it is easier to make alcohol from sugar sources (fruit, honey, sugar cane juice) than from starch (grain, potato). Saccharification is the process of converting starch into sugar, thereby making it something yeast can eat. It is a prerequisite for making beer and whiskey.

Grains are seeds. To grow, new sprouts need sugar, just like yeast do. So at the beginning of the germination process, the new sprout produces diastatic enzymes that convert the starch surrounding it into sugar. The process of sprouting grain to capture those enzymes is called malting. Any grain can be malted but barley is particularly good. The enzymes produced are so effective that a relatively small amount of malt (about 10%) will convert a mash of unmalted grains.

In Scotland, the law requires that only barley malt is used in the production of whiskey. In the United States, enzymes derived from other sources may be used and sometimes are, but most whiskey-makers use malt. Some use both.

All of the alcohol we drink is still made the old-fashioned way, by feeding sugar to yeast.

Enzymes are proteins that promote chemical reactions. All chemical reactions within cells are controlled by enzymes, so enzymes are also involved in the biological process by which yeast makes alcohol. You might think that modern science could just synthesize all of these different chemicals and make alcohol in some kind of machine. Maybe it can, but all of the alcohol we drink is still made the old-fashioned way, by feeding sugar to yeast.

All of these processes take place in water so before anything else can happen the starches have to be dissolved. First, they are ground to the consistency of corn meal, then water is added. Most starches have to be cooked to fully dissolve. This is especially true of corn, the main ingredient in bourbon whiskey.

Some solids, mostly cellulose, remain undissolved. Most brewers and some distillers discard the solids. Bourbon makers typically do not and they continue through the distillation process.

Regardless, in the end, after the yeast and sugar are mixed and mashed, we have alcohol and it’s delicious!

This article originally appeared on the Chuck Cowdry Blog.

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Implementing Responsible Alcohol Service in Your Establishment

Implementing Responsible Alcohol Service in Your Establishment

Each state regulates alcohol — from its manufacturing, to selling, and the actions resulting from its use. This includes assessing the liability of any violations. If you serve alcohol in your restaurant, it is important that you and each staff member are aware of the laws, rules, and best practices in your state. Serving alcohol involves many risks. 

The failure to act responsibly may result in fines, loss of your liquor license, increased costs of insurance, or even imprisonment. Ultimately, it could result in losing your business.

Consequences of Serving an Intoxicated Guest

In almost every state, it is illegal to serve alcohol to an intoxicated person. There are numerous types of liabilities associated including criminal, administrative (liquor control commission), and broad civil liabilities via the Dram Shop Law. Therefore, it is imperative that you develop specific policies that ensure the responsible serving of alcohol in your establishment. This includes having a clear concise process for the difficult situation of denying service to an intoxicated guest.

Alcohol Awareness Training

Most liability insurances now require that all members of a restaurant, bar, or tavern staff undergo this type of training. Additionally, it is important because it helps underscore the importance of responsible service as well as the consequences of failing to do so. It also provides bartenders and servers with a factual base that enables them to make informed and often difficult, service related decisions with confidence. In addition to outside training, it is important that you have internal policies that define what to do when faced with these judgment calls.

The failure to act responsibly may result in fines, loss of your liquor license, increased costs of insurance, or even imprisonment.

Situational Awareness Training and Empowerment

Each member of your staff, no matter if they serve alcohol are important in the success of these policies, as often situations like these can be prevented. Train your staff to be observant. They should be listening and watching what is going on in your restaurant. Encouraging them to use their best judgment, empower each staff member to report any person or group they believe may present a problem. This is the best opportunity you have to prevent an incident from occurring. Once a report has been made, that is the time to have a manager or the owner drop by the table, speak to the patron, further assess the situation, and perhaps intervene.

Other Preventative Measures

  • Servers and bartenders keep track of how many drinks have been served.
  • Don’t serve drinks ordered for someone who is not yet present. As this person could already be intoxicated or perhaps even underage.
  • Have a visible authority presence in the bar area. This could be security or management.
  • Have signage posted with your policy

…it is important that they have the trust and support of management.

Tips to Refusing Service to an Intoxicated Patron

Because this is a judgment call that servers and bartenders are in the best position to make, it is important that they have the trust and support of management. Having a written policy that outlines the process is also helpful. These factors make it easier for them to exercise good judgment of how and when to refuse service. Robert Plotkin, founder of Bar Media offers the following advice on how to cut off an intoxicated guest.

  • When in doubt – don’t serve- Make this your policy. Because of the potential liability, isn’t it better to err on the side of caution?
  • Keep it simple- In the fewest words possible, explain that as a matter of policy, you will not be serving any more alcohol.
  • If possible, be discreet- There is no need to cause a scene that may embarrass the patron and potentially provoke an incident.
  • Utilize tact and diplomacy- Avoid using inflammatory language, disapproval, or criticism.
  • Remain firm- Once you have committed to this decision there is no turning back. To do so would undermine your credibility and authority.
  • Keep everyone in the loop- Notify the other staff and servers so that they do not mistakenly serve the guest additional alcohol.

For general precaution, management on-duty should be notified to take any further action needed, allowing the bartender or server to resume their regular roles. Management should determine whether to offer and arrange alternate transportation for the patron.

Keeping the patrons safe from harm and your establishment safe from liability is a job that falls to every employee. Knowing when and how to cut off an intoxicated guest is a judgment call often left to the bartender and servers. It is sometimes awkward and difficult, however, with proper training, guidelines, and internal support it can be accomplished with dignity and tact. 

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Best Tips to Advertise Your Restaurant’s Happy Hour

Best Tips to Advertise Your Restaurant’s Happy Hour

At the end of the workday, many people have just one thing on their mind: happy hour! They’re hungry and thirsty and as a restaurant or bar of any type, this is a real asset. The thing you need to know though is how to advertise your happy hour so you can make the very most of it. With this in mind, here are the pro-tips.

Understand Happy Hour’s Purpose

Unfortunately, many bar owners think of happy hour as a stand alone part of their day when it’s really not. Happy hour is a transitional time you should use to drive traffic to your bar or restaurant that evening.

Don’t think of a busy happy hour as a success. While it may help you break even, it’s not a success unless you have a busy lucrative dinner or evening. As such, happy hour is actually a traffic and sales driver. You want this traffic to stay for a full-price dinner, which means you need really compelling advertising for that.

Ramp Up In-House Marketing

You want to create a special place or, at the very least, have posters and signs around your establishment advertising happy hour. Make sure these show a list of the deals you’re offering. This way, even if your customers missed happy hour, they know to come in for it tomorrow.

It’s important you train your team on running a successful happy hour.

It’s also important you train your team on running a successful happy hour so they can turn it into a profitable experience. By investing in walking your guests through a happy hour to an enjoyable dinner or late night experience, you’ll bring in more business. Make sure your staff is ready to offer recommendations, talk up full-priced signature items, and, of course, answer questions about the specials.

Use Social Media to Your Advantage

Most bars and restaurants understand how important social media marketing is when it comes to bringing in customers. However, what many don’t understand is how helpful it is for advertising purposes, especially when it comes to happy hours.

Why? Because lots of people get antsy towards the end of the workday and start playing around with their social media feeds. By tweeting about your daily specials around 3-5pm, you’re reaching potential customers at exactly the right time – when they’re deciding where to go for that after-work drink!

Take your social media post to the next level by including an enticing image of either a food or drink special you’re offering. The visual aspect goes a long way in this respect.

Create More Deals

Since most people don’t go to happy hour by themselves, but instead go with a group of friends or coworkers, offer group deals on appetizers or pitchers. These turn your happy hour into the place they want to go.

Also, don’t forget about the power of bounce back coupons.

Also, don’t forget about the power of bounce back coupons. Giving your customers additional coupons for the next happy hour gives them extra incentive to return!

A Little Something Extra

Although cheap drinks and food are stars in their own right, they’re not exactly unique. To make your happy hour stand out in the crowd, try adding a little something extra. Think karaoke, live bands, trivia or games of some sort.

Whether it’s once a week or once a month, this will not only draw a wider crowd but also extend the amount of time, and money, customers are spending at your restaurant. Plus, it’s just another perk that you can advertise!

Offer a Special Menu

Most of the time, happy hour discounts are on drinks and appetizers that are already on the menu. However, if you spend time creating a menu just for happy hour, customers are more likely to stop by and try these offerings.

If you spend time creating a menu just for happy hour, customers are more likely to stop by and try those drinks or food.

There’s a lot to consider when it comes to happy hour, but the gist is that it should be a unique and relaxing experience for your customers that’s affordable, so they can enjoy it on the reg. Then, it’s all about spreading the word!

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Sirvo Says: Where to Eat, Work & Live in Denver

Sirvo Says: Where to Eat, Work & Live in Denver

Whether you’re a native or just moved here recently, you are already aware that Denver is one of the best places to live! We are a rapidly growing city with more and more places to eat, work and enjoy your life! So much so, that it’s often hard to keep up with all of these new areas of town on the rise.

One of the fastest growing industries to work in is the hospitality industry, which makes so much sense considering Coloradans love working at places where they can have fun, and that affords them time to explore this majestic state. Below is our list of some neighborhoods and places that we absolutely adore!

Where to eat, work & live in Denver!

RiNo (River North)

denver best places to eat and live

RiNo is an obvious choice to highlight first. This has been Denver’s hippest neighborhood on the rise for the last two years. It’s where we go when we want to feel apart of the “now” in Denver. There is also the most recent announcement of a new music festival ground! This neighborhood just keeps getting better and better!!!

Where to Eat or Work:

AcornOne of the best restaurants in the city of Denver by Chef Steven Redzikowski and beverage extraordinaire Bryan Dayton. If you are interested in working at Acorn, check out their Sirvo page to see if they are hiring!

AmericatusRiNo’s premier neighborhood Italian eatery. Americatus may be hiring for open positions, check their Sirvo page here.

Comida Mexican Street Food at it’s finest! Also located at The Source, Denver’s premier artisan food market. Comida is not only a great place to eat but would also be an amazing place to work.

Los ChingonesTwo leveled neighborhood Mexican eatery by Chef Troy Guard. Go here to view all TAG Restaurant Group open positions.

Where to Live:

Cornerstone Apartments has two buildings in RiNo worth checking out, the newest is Link 35 coming in September!

LoHi (Lower Highlands)

denver best places to eat and live

LoHi is still one of the fastest growing neighborhoods/districts in Denver. While locals haven’t always been impressed with the “Lego” style architecture, it’s hard to deny the appeal to new and old Denver residents. This district is home to great food, art and events that seem to be happening all of the time! There is a reason that late on a Friday or Saturday night you see throngs of people walking back down 20th heading home. This is the place to be.

Where to Eat or Work:

Central Bistro & Bar – “Central Bistro is a contemporary American bistro with a focus on local, fresh, organic produce without the pretentious shenanigans.”  Wondering if Central Bistro & Bar are hiring? Check their Sirvo page!

LoHi SteakbarA great neighborhood hangout with delicious food and drinks. View their Sirvo page if you’re interested in joining their team.

Lola Mexican Fish House – “With food inspired by the coastal regions of Mexico and a bar named one of the Top Five Places to Drink Tequila in North America is the spot for serious eats and crafted cocktails”. LoHi has a great food scene and Lola would be a great job with a fun staff, so look into joining the team on Sirvo!

LingerLocated in an old mortuary, Linger is a unique establishment and offers some of the best patio views in the city! Edible Beats is a great company to work for with a lot of great concepts, view Sirvo to become their next great hire

Where to Live:

Check out B Street LoHi or the Vallejo Street Apartments if you’re looking to find a hip place to live.  

Uptown

denver best places to eat and live

Though some might have forgotten, this is still one of the best neighborhoods in all of Denver. There are great brunch locations, shopping, coffee shops, restaurants, dive bars and all in walking distance of each other. One can spend an entire day roaming 17th Avenue and not be disappointed.

Where to Eat or Work:

Ace Eat and Serve “Inspired by the comfort foods and shop houses of Southeast Asia, Ace Eat Serve combines Asian-inspired cuisine with an expansive indoor/outdoor bar, year-round patio, and Denver’s only dedicated Ping-Pong hall”. Check Sirvo to see if Ace is hiring.

Beast + Bottle – “A rustic American restaurant serving hand-crafted cocktails, eclectic wines and responsibly sourced cuisine for dinner and weekend brunch”. Interested in working at B+B? Check their Sirvo page!

CopertaFrom the owners of Beast + Bottle, this uptown neighborhood Italian eatery is one of the hottest restaurants in town right now! New restaurants like Coperta are usually looking for fresh talent, view their open positions.

Masterpiece DeliThey are exactly who they say they are, a masterpiece. Look into possible job opportunities at one of the best places to work in town.

Steuben’s Food ServiceSome of the best comfort food you will find in the entire state. Check out their Sirvo page for current open positions!

 Where to Live:

“Urban Apartment Living” is what Cornerstone Apartments offer, there are three locations located in the Uptown neighborhood worth looking into.

West Wash Park & SoBo

denver best places to eat and live

This area of town has always been a Denver resident favorite. It has everything you want in a neighborhood, shops, restaurants, bars and a happening nightlife! There is such a great energy about this neighborhood, it’s easy to see why it is so popular. There are bike paths all around, a quick hop to the light rail station and of course Wash Park (the most beautiful park in the city).

Where to Eat or Work:

Atticus – “Atticus is comfort food, good friends, warm hospitality, laughter, and libations”. This neighborhood joint is a popular destination for residents and would be a great place to work as well!

Beatrice & WoodsleyOne of the most beautiful restaurants in Denver with some of the best food and service you will ever have. Getting a job here is an opportunity to say the least, head to their page on Sirvo.

Cho77SOBO’s and Denver’s best Asian street food neighborhood spot! Looking for a new job, check Cho77’s Sirvo listings.

The RosedaleFrom the owners of Atticus and located next door, this is a great place with delicious wings and burgers. Go on Sirvo to see their job listings.

Sushi DenA great destination to spend a wonderful evening with a group of friends or your significant other. We imagine working here is just as enjoyable as dining here would be!

Where to Live:

With almost 20 locations in this area to choose from, Cornerstone Apartments has plenty of options when deciding where to live in this thriving neighborhood!

 

Downtown

denver best places to eat and live

We understand for a lot of people downtown Denver is too hectic, loud and crowded but that is exactly why we love it! If you are new to town and you want to be where all the action is, then work, eat and live in the epicenter of it all. Denver is alive and has a nightlife that competes with any other similar city out there. We have five major sports teams with year-round schedules, constant events and a great food and beverage scene. The best part of living downtown is that in ten minutes you are on the highway and within another thirty minutes you are in the mountains on your way to hike your next 14’er!!!

Where to Eat or Work:

TAGChef Troy Guard describes this concept of his as “Continental Social Food” and represents his journey as a chef and restaurateur. Check Sirvo for possible open positions.  

Osteria MarcoChef Frank Bonanno’s famed Denver Italian gathering place named after his youngest son. See what potential employment opportunities they might have here

JAX Fish House LoDo – “Jax Fish House LoDo has served FRESH and sustainable seafood to the masses that pack into this hot spot since 1996″. Go on Sirvo to see their latest job listings!

Snooze at Union StationThere are reason people wait in line to eat here, and it’s because it’s delicious. Snooze has a great reputation and is one of the most popular destinations to eat and work, head to their Sirvo page!

Where to Live:

If you are looking for a unique downtown location to live, Tamai Tower at Sakura Square.

Denver is on the rise and has been rapidly growing for the last couple of years. We have so much further to go, but we are on our way for sure! The rest of the country is looking to us as to how to take their own city to the next level. We have some of the best neighborhoods in the country to live with amazing options for leisure, dining and entertainment. We are the place to be right now!

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