Breweries are Twitting

Online service provides access to consumers

What do 45 breweries have in common? And what could 1400 more U.S. breweries do to follow their lead? Twitter, of course.

Twitter is an online networking site that allows brewers to communicate with beer consumers.

Sound like just another online trend? Take a look at the number of people tweeting that they’ve been drinking “Arrogant Bastard” in the past 48 or so hours.
Twitter is not an instant-gratification-sell-more-beer-right-away marketing scheme. Instead it is more of an interpersonal service that builds brand ownership among consumers. It’s a way to build a small following around your brewery and get to know those who drink your beer. It’s also a way to let people who drink your beer get to know you. One of the great allures of craft breweries is that each brewery is owned and run by people with passion. What’s the difference between your beer and Blue Moon? You.
Twitter can also be a good way to gain ‘intel’ on your brand out in the marketplace. You can’t be out in the retail trade every day and evening listening to your consumer feedback. Twitter allows you to hera real time feedback about your brands.

It may be time to Twit.

Comments

  1. MikeRoy says

    Not sure how this is going to compete with Beeradvocate.com/Ratebeer.com which already give you feedback not to mention a well of other resources…it looks to me to be just a message board.

  2. NYSBrewer says

    Am I missing something with this site? I find it odd that EVERY twit is about Arrogant Bastard. No one on this site is drinking anything else?

  3. olllllo says

    Twitter doesn’t compete with those sites. Quite the opposite.
    In fact, those sites have twitter accounts.

    MikeRoy wrote: Not sure how this is going to compete with Beeradvocate.com/Ratebeer.com which already give you feedback not to mention a well of other resources…it looks to me to be just a message board.

  4. mybeerbuzz says

    You’ll find twitter is in use quite a bit in the beer-blog world and becoming extremely popular for a number of uses. Personally my readers and I use it to keep my tap lists so up to date they are sometimes real-time. When readers are out at one of our beer bars and a tap handle changes, they “twit” that info in and it apears on my blog….real-time tap lists.

  5. olllllo says

    @nakedcitybeer also twitters their tap list.
    http://twitter.com/nakedcitybeer

    Oskar Blues Gordon will be on tap soon 3:55 PM yesterday from web
    Ninkasi Sleigh’r will be on tap soon 3:38 PM yesterday from web

    Allagash Tripel will be on tap soon 3:36 PM yesterday from web

    Chuckanut Dortmunder Lager now on tap (replacing Anchor Christmas Ale) 1:31 PM yesterday from web

    Gilligan’s American Pale Ale now on tap (replacing Chuckanut Dortmunder Lager) 1:30 PM yesterday from web

    Laughing Dog Dogfather will be on tap soon 3:00 PM Jan 14th from web

    Rogue Shakespeare Stout will be on tap soon 6:16 PM Jan 13th from web

    Getting ready for Chuckanut Brewers Night TONIGHT 7PM – 10PM! Marzen, Pilsner, Rauchbier, Dortmunder, Vienna Lager and Organic Amber. 5:22 PM Jan 13th from web

    Chuckanut Rauchbier now on tap (replacing Bayern St. Wilbur Weizen) 4:35 PM Jan 13th from web

    DonWebb, one of the founders, is a member here.

  6. mybeerbuzz says

    With so many choices available in the craft beer market, I think it’s a great idea to reach out with twitter and any method you can to engage and attract consumers. Lets face it, our 21+ year-old market are now children of the information age. They expect a brewery/brewpub/beer bar to have a presence on the web, and a news feed presence. Almost all home pages and personal blogs/portals allow you to incorporate an RSS/twitter/reader component to personalize your home page. With today’s tools it’s simple to deliver…so why not provide that info to your followers?

  7. Butcher Scott says

    We have found twittering to be an effective way of getting quick info blasts out. A lot of our younger, tech savvy customers keep their twitter on phones (heck, I have it on my iPhone) and keep up to date that way.

    Right now we are just building our base of “followers” but what I find when we send a tweet out is that our loyal followers will re-tweet it, thus it gets seen by their followers. Also, the number of Google Alerts I get based on someone mentioning on their twitter that they are enjoying a beer at our pub numbers 3-10 per day. That’s the best kind of marketing – free and word-of-mouth.

    Cheap. Easy. Free. I think Twitter is a no brainer for us brewers.

    Examples of our last few tweets:

    Sunday means $2 off growler fills all day! Get your to-go on!
    about 3 hours ago from web

    Bring your dancing shoes! Jack Levitt brings Texas Country to Freetail – tonight at 9:30! about 21 hours ago from web

    Ruination reviews Old Bat Rastard – check it! http://tinyurl.com/7q3ewm about 21 hours ago from web

    4Shadow Belgian Smoked Stout on now! Jack Levitt tonight for live music! 12:41 PM yesterday from MySpace Twitter Sync

    OUT NOW: Old Bat Rastard, 4Shadow, Bourbon Torpor! 7:05 PM Jan 16th from web

    Update… 4Shadow this weekend. Belgian. Smoke. Stout. Put those together in any order that helps you grasp the concept. 9:50 PM Jan 15th from web

    Bat Rastard flowing fast from the taps. 4Shadow hitting tomorrow? Pomegranate Wit out now! 3:16 PM Jan 14th from web

    It’s guest beer night! $2.75 guest pints ’til close! 7:42 PM Jan 12th from web

    Brewing a new batch of Freetail Ale right now… consuming Old Bat Rastard later. 11:52 AM Jan 12th from web

  8. Sulfur says

    I’ve started tweeting. I love it. I think of it kind of like adding notes to a blackboard. I don’t have a blackboard but thought about placing one near the brewhouse or fermentation cellar for me to add the latest notes/quotes of the day etc. E.g. “brewing an IPA today” or “brewmasters tip of the day – drink your stout warmer rather than cooler” etc. Now, I can do this electronically. I’ve also started following other breweries and stay “on the bubble” regarding the latest happenings. It’s also a great way to get feedback as many “regular” people don’t frequent the Ratebeer type sites, but do post their opinions or musings on twitter. Also, many people with Iphones and the like find themselves vindicated when they get “inside” information. I recommend it to all.

  9. liammckenna says

    I tweet.

    But I don’t have to like it.

    Yes it helps to sell product.

    Shockingly.

    Personally, I couldn’t give a s#$t if you’re brewing a new batch of pale ale.

    Has everyone willingly given up privacy?

    I can’t stand giving those of deficient attention spans any more instant gratification. I could really give a s#$t if those who read our company tweets consume my beer. If they would take guidance from a simple message from a stranger, they’re idiots.

    I’m really looking for more than a split second of your attention. I will, however, take that split second if that’s all you small mind can spare and exploit you for it.

    Not neccesarily happily, but often willing to exploit hypnotized 20-30 somethings sucking on the glass tit.

    Here’s to a future of no human interaction whatsoever.

    It might be good for us.

    Somehow, I doubt it.

    When did our world become so ethereal?

    If you can reduce your world to a tweet of 200 words or less,even for a moment, there is something wrong with your world.

    Seriously.

    Good luck in your navigation through the new world.

    Be vocal.

    Wow. Just reading what I just wrote. I don’t think I should have curry before I go on Probrewer.com

    Pax.

    Liam

  10. Moonlight says

    Thank you for your eloquence, Liam!
    I think of it like texting while driving… can you get full, present enjoyment out of an amazing beer with good company while tweets are flying back and forth? Maybe I’m just old and have ADHT.

  11. Sulfur says

    Well, I guess I’m new to the whole twitter thing. Didn’t know there were so many strong feelings about it. I guess it can be abused…but I still think it’s a valuable tool. An electronic blackboard. Check me out if you’re ever coming to this neck of the woods or are simply interested in our brewery! I promise I won’t post about what side of bed I got out, or what my favorite soccer team is (Bayern Munich;) )! Brew on.

  12. beerking1 says

    mic_mac wrote: I can’t imagine a time when I’d be so concerned about a particular beer being on tap somewhere that I need to know right now!

    I don’t tweet. In fact, I have disabled the text feature on all our cell phones.

    I can however, think of at least one case where I really needed to know when a beer was available: Schlenkerla brewed a one-off experimental batch this past year, called “Oak Smoke.” The name pretty much says it all. They have sent a very limited number of kegs of this beer to the US. That is one beer I simply MUST try.

  13. banjo says

    I’ve seen my clients and the industry using Twitter and Facebook.com more and more over the last couple years. The advertising package for breweries on Realbeer.com even has a component for drawing on that huge beer community (500,000) and sending them to your social pages. What other advertising medium (I know it’s a dirty word but it is advertising after all) sends out your message to a receptive opt-in audience and allows you to continually renew your brands top-of-mind-awareness with qualified consumers? Yes it takes some time to keep up. No, you don’t want to abuse it with crap-o-the-minute posts. This can be a powerful and effective tool that costs little more than the time you put into it. What’s not to like?

  14. BeerBoy says

    After holding out as long as I could (go ahead, guess my age…), I became a Twit-er today. The question with all this “social” media then becomes: when will I have time to brew if I’m constantly online updating that I don’t have time to brew?!?

    Slipping down that slippery slope,

    http://twitter.com/DavesBrewFarm

  15. banjo says

    At Real Beer Media, we’re contemplating offering a service that populates your social pages with news items and updates on your brands for breweries. Would that be a service breweries would find valuable?

  16. tsewong73 says

    You might think you’re cool for snubbing social networking media like Twitter and Facebook, but you’re really not. Unlike traditional media, social media reaches out to a targeted, receptive audience and makes for very effective communication with your customers and fans. For free! Do you hear me? FREE! Advertising for FREE! Isn’t that the kind of marketing we’re always looking for?

    You might think that announcing that you’re brewing your pale ale for the umpteenth time is foolish, but what if the brewery’s fans really appreciate knowing when a fresh batch of beer is being brewed. Maybe those customers will know to stop by the brewpub or tasting room in a couple of weeks for a taste of the freshest beer. Perhaps those folks, like some of my customers, just like to pop in on brewing days because they really enjoy the aromas.

    Posting on Facebook and Twitter has been enormously successful for us. We’ve been able to very effectively communicate with our customers making sure they know when we’re open, if we change our hours, that we’re releasing a new beer, when new t-shirts have arrived and when we’ve captured a new tap in a bar or restaurant. It also allows us to advertise for our draft accounts and distributors, so that our fans know where to go for our beers at all times. Things change pretty quickly at our accounts and we neither have the time nor money to take out newspaper ads or write email newsletters every time we get a new tap or some bar changes our beers.

    Here’s the thing: I know how effective and meaningful it is for my business to utilize social media. I swear to it. In fact, we get a grant to hire a college intern every semester to help us handle our internet marketing and social media. In the spirit of trying to be helpful to my fellow brewers and brewery owners, I encourage you all to at least reconsider your attitudes toward social media. If you still think it’s stupid and a waste of time, don’t do it. I don’t really care. All I can say is that if you handle it well and you’re smart about it, social media can be a big help in marketing your companies.

    I don’t know how many of you were able to catch my compadre’s presentation at the CBC back in April, but I was the missing half of the social media presentation that was run by Dr. Dean Browell. The presentation was hugely popular and Dr. Dean has been invited to present once again at the CBC in Chicago next April. Obviously, social media is having a very positive impact on the craft beer industry.

  17. mybeerbuzz says

    It’s a high-tech world out there and many customers live and play in a social-media world. You can certainly opt to ignore it and hope it goes away, or embrace this free and easy technology to make new friends and welcome new customers. I do quite a bit of analysis on traffic to and from my site and you be amazed…make that frightened at how much traffic originates from Twitter & Facebook. It’s so simple and so free and you can even link them together so everything you post on one gets posted to the other. Bury your head in the sand OR welcome new customers…it’s your choice.

    And for those wondering…yes as a beer lover I DO want to know what you’re brewing and when you’re brewing it, I DO want to know what special beers you’re pouring and I DO want to visit and trade you my money for your fresh beer.

    Twit or FB me….

    twitter.com/mybeerbuzz
    facebook.com/mybeerbuzz
    mybeerbuzz.com

  18. mybeerbuzz says

    We publish the twitter feed for each of our member micro breweries on mybeerbuzz.com and you’d be amazed at how much traffic the Twitter Feed portion of the page generates. Say what you will about social networking tools like Twotter and FaceBook, but they DO generate traffic and interest….and after all isn’t that the goal?

  19. Larry Doyle says

    Sounds like a bunch of nittwits. People who live their lives through their devices need to get a life of their own. As Clark Gable once said, “Personally, my dear, I don’t give shwitt.”

  20. SRB says

    Larry Doyle wrote: “Sounds like a bunch of Nittwits……..”

    Not the first nor the last time I’m sure, I will be grouped with nit wits! 😀
    Or are we nit twits? 😉

  21. jazzmac says

    @Larry…I too was skeptical at first, but the new drinkers, 21-plus, have grown up with this stuff. It’s a great way to instantly communicate with your fans. We use it for new realeases, to announce events we’re doing, or anything else we’ve got going on.

    For brewpubs it’s unbelievable. I have a friend here in CT, who put on his FB page a drink special, he had 150 people in the bar within the hour, in the middle of a BLIZZARD! Everyone can get it on their phone now, so it’s an instant way to communicate with your customers.

  22. Phil says

    I would recommend, being somewhat into this “social media” scene, that if it’s not in your personality to be somewhat extrovert, then don’t do it. But, as someone has said above, this is free media! Don’t miss out.

    There are many ways to capitalise on this wide availability of new media, Facebook and Twitter are just two tools. There are ways and means of setting up, getting in the loop and really benefit your business, fundamentally controlling what is said about what your business and your beers.

    I work at a large beer distribution company in the south east of England called, Cavedirect, we also have an online beerstore called Beermerchants.com – we use the above social media mentioned, but some is successful and some not so. We also have blogs and other written material. I will say that I have been to university in California, allbeit for a short course, to study this.

    They are, to us, necessary means of communicating with our customer base for the benefit of the retail site, where as somewhat garnish to the commercial entity.

    What we have learned is that if it’s not in your nature, or your not comfortable with the randomness of what people will ask you about. There is a high prevelence of tech familiar people on the new media platforms, a gimmee of a statement, but that said 1 in 5 people in the UK are on Facebook… linking it all together is the trick, maintaining conversation or the like is very important, so find someone with in your company who is comfortable with the whole entity, instil in them social norms and your business vibe, and get involved.

    If you need any advice, help or just want to say hi, please don’t hesitate to email me on Phil@beermerchants.com or Tweet me @Beermerchants – we have a facebook page and don’t forget I am just a little retailer… not the actual brewer, you guys are the heroes. I am even thinking of joining the party… 😉