I absolutely agree with Moonlight and Rosie. Skip the advertising crap. Nobody's reading newspapers anymore. TV and radio ads are hellishly expensive. The one perfect example that I point to from our own experience is when I spent $350 on a 1/4 page ad in a local paper announcing that we had begun bottling our beers. It also included a tiny spot about selling dog treats that are made with our spent grain. ONE (and I do mean ONE) old man came to our tasting room because he had seen our ad. He came for the damn dog treats. Basically, I spent $350 to sell a $4.50 bag of dog treats. This is just the best example of why it's a waste to spend money on advertising.
The best things you can do are the following:
1) tasting room (if you're not starting a brewpub)
2) do as many beer tastings as you can for the first year or so: after a while they become a waste of time and beer, but you'll know when you reach that point; after that, you can pick and the choose the most effective beer tastings; the most important thing is that you give consumers lots of chances to try your beers for free and that you get public exposure
3) social media/networking: you have a targeted, receptive audience of people who WANT to know what you're up to; newspaper ads are like carpet bombing - by reaching everyone you might hit your intended target; FaceCrack, Twitter, etc. is like a smart bomb - you hit exactly who you want to hit every time; your audience has a direct connection to you and therefore they have access to all the information they want about your brewery
In a few years, when you have money to blow on ads, go for the beer industry rags first - Ale Street News, The Brewing News, Celebrator and any other local or regional beer magazines. Again, you're hitting a targeted audience.
Mike Hiller, Head Brewer
2277-A Dabney Road
Richmond, VA 23230