Entering the Industry - Any Advice?
I would like to start by saying Iím a novice and I greatly appreciate any advice you can give me. Iím interested in starting my own beer label and looking for advice from you on what to do once the beer is made and ready for distribution. I am going to contract brew, I have two brewers that Iíve talked with. Whatís the next step? Do I cold call distributors/brokers???? My gut feeling is they wonít deal with me right away because I donít carry the recognition? Any advice will be appreciated.
Next step assuming you have started artwork/brand identity work is to start looking at distribution. Being on my second go around, first ended cause of dist/brewing issues I would suggest starting off self dist then switching to an established wholesaler, coming to the table with accounts means alot. BTW I also contract brew. What do you want to be the the most important question, a local brand (more approachable beers imo) or a regional brand (more flavorful/ecentric beers will not as broad an appeal, I do ,not by production numbers). Feel free to email me with any questions. My answers are based upon my experience and might not apply to your market. Also be careful as to choosing a brewer to make your product that will play into your marketing strategy. for example if you want to be a "local Beer" don't choose a brewery far from your home market.
of course if your dont have recognition yet, if you can sell then you should look for a distributor. But dont leave it up to the distributor to sell the beer for you. you need to have a story, BS a little if you have to but have a nice story to go with the beer. Target your market and price it accordingly. Tell your story to your market and sell it to the distrubtor. they have to believe you can sell the beer too.
Dont just make a bunch of beer and not have an outlet or it wont be fresh by the time you can sell it....