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battling breweries

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  • battling breweries

    I hope that this is the right thread for this topic. It is regarding sales and contracts.
    I am in Latin America in a country where the craft scene is very new 2-3 years old.

    One of the micros has been trying to set up deals with bars where they will sell their beer at a big discount if they kick out some or all of the other micros. Along with paying kickbacks to bars and bartenders to not push/sell the other brewery's beers.

    We have a few accounts we could do this to, but it's not in me or my partner's ethics to do something like that. Nor do I think it is good for the craft beer scene to grow.

    Any advice to combat this?

  • #2
    Hmm, that kind of shenanigans is highly illegal in the United States. Maybe one of our friends from somewhere with looser tied house laws like, say, the UK might have advice?

    My perspective has always been that selling beer is about building relationships. Develop long-standing, solid relationships with your accounts. Regular visits, regular communication, doing your best to help with whatever you can. A decent bar you have a good relationship with is much less likely to toss you out for some macro swill just to save a few bucks. The accounts that will take pay for play tend to be shitty customers anyway, let the competition enjoy that delight.
    Russell Everett
    Co-Founder / Head Brewer
    Bainbridge Island Brewing
    Bainbridge Island, WA


    • #3
      I think that your best bet is to start some sort of guild/craft brewers group. It is a good way to work with the other craft breweries to develop your market together. If said brewery becomes part of this group, it could open their eyes to how what they are doing, while may be beneficial short term, will ultimately separate them from their own market as it grows around them. If they do now join this group, then they will have an opportunity to learn market share. Especially if the market for craft is small, you have to work it towards the craft side as a whole against major brands. In Norway we have some of this going on because it is legal, but the breweries that do this are starting to lose their reputation as craft.

      Randy Jensen
      Head of Brewing Operations
      Molo Brew
      Ă…lesund, Norway