On a junket to California for Thanksgiving, I was fortunate to spend a day visiting some prize beer destinations. More on those visitations in coming days...the Holiday Ale Festival is the current priority and focus.
|Retail Beer Marketing 102: Defining the product|
First off, let me say I think many retailers in Portland and Oregon do a pretty good job of marketing bottled (and canned) craft beer. This includes some of the better bottle shops (Belmont Station, Saraveza and Beermongers come to mind and there are certainly others), as well as the big box guys like Freddy Meyer, Whole Foods and New Seasons.
However, whilst I was in California I observed something I have not seen here in Portland. Actually, that's not quite true. I see it in Portland all the time...in the wine section at some grocery stores and in wine shops. The wine stewards post ratings from industry publications near great wines. What a novel idea!
This should be happening with beer here. Posting beer ratings from a respected publication like Beeradvocate is a terrific educational piece and marketing tool. Some people are stuck in the macro habit because they don't know what craft beer to buy. Help them out! Post ratings and style information.
If I were a beer steward or ran a bottle shop, I would seriously start posting beer ratings. Because putting great beer on the shelves isn't enough. There's more to be done. You obviously can't post for every beer without creating a mess in the display case. But it can be done. Enough said.