How to create more sales during slow times
Building a destination with 6 breweries and one glass.
When it comes to community, there is only one thing that really matters – banding together during times of uncertainty to find new ways to serve our patrons. It’s times like these where true innovation is born. Finding new ways to reach customers and gaining more exposure happens through coming together, building strong community leadership and the help of many hands. How to create more sales during slow times is a topic that continues to be top of mind during times of uncertainty.
January is typically a month where brewery tasting rooms lean on the sparse side of traffic. Unpredictable winter weather and the pandemic’s long hold have made this year even slower than standard for visitors.
Three brewery owners, David D’Allesandro of Frequentem, with Nate Crane and Paul Newhook of Square Knot introduced a new idea to Canandaigua, N.Y. in January to help draw in more customers and create a buzz in what is normally a slower time of the year for breweries. They created a destination that brought excited patrons out of their homes and into the breweries.
The event was called Canandaigua “Stout Month.” For the entire month, six breweries offered stouts at their location across Canandaigua. At each location, the breweries stamped your “Stout Month” Passport and sent you on your way to the next brewery for your next stamp.
The six breweries were Frequentem, Twisted Rail, Three Huskies, Square Knot, Peacemaker, and Naked Dove.
After the passport was stamped by all participating breweries a commemorative, limited-edition arome glass featuring all six participating brewerys’ logos printed on it. Dejabrew is honored to have printed the glasses and to have been a part of bringing the community together.
Dejabrew had the opportunity to speak with one of the founders of Canandaigua “Stout Month,” Paul from Square Knot. He shared his thoughts and feelings around what makes something like this come together, what it takes to pull it off, and his favorite moment.
How did you come up with the idea?
Dave from Frequentem, Nate, and I discussed it based on one in Boulder Colorado. It started small and now has a huge draw for the Month.
Do you have any plans for something similar in the future?
The 14424 Canandaigua Breweries are working together to plan more events similar to stout month. We hope to have a Canandaigua Beer Festival if the covid restrictions allow.
Is there anything you would change about it?
Being the first year we pulled the event off in under a month. It was a huge success. We will know next year that we need to order more passport cards and more high-quality glasses from Deja Brew for the rewards.
Did you see an increase in patronage for January due to the event? If yes, how so? What were the results?
January typically is the slowest month for breweries. All the participating breweries saw great enhanced sales and exposure due to the stouts. Many breweries including Square knot released a new stout every weekend to make sure people would come back. Several people completed the tour more than one time and had different stouts. We expect this event to keep growing stronger annually, as we will focus on advertising prior to the event.
Why do you think this was such a success for both the breweries and the patrons?
It’s a new type of event in this area. The partnerships in the Canandaigua breweries are amazing. We emailed almost daily for updates and working to see who needed supplies. This formed and strengthened the Canandaigua Brewery Community. This was also a covid friendly event, Nd people were looking for something different to do, and we were very fortunate that people traveled from as far away as Pennsylvania, Buffalo, and Albany for the event. In speaking to many people, they loved Stout month and are looking forward to the next event.
What was your favorite moment of the event? describe it.
The fun-loving patrons and the comments from them in regard to all the great beers. My favorite moment was Twisted Rail was doing a very limited bottle release stout. I was explaining it to the customers I had at my brewery. I told them I was disappointed I would not be able to get down to get a bottle. When they left my brewery, they were very excited for the Twisted Rail Bottle release and went there to ensure they got the bottles. Later that day they stopped in and gave me a bottle they got for my “tip” and would not take money for it. Craft beer fans are unlike any others, it makes it fun every day to own and work at the brewery.
How can you implement something like this in your city or town to create a destination rather than separate establishments? How to create more sales during slow times isn’t easy. We hope this story brings more than a fun idea, but inspires you to do more with your local community and patrons. For more resources, see our 6 most underutilized glassware styles for 2021.