Brewery Marketing

How to get your beer business ahead of the crowd

March 10, 2023

When BrewDog tossed a clowder of cats from a helicopter over the city of London, their aim was to send a loud, clear message to their army of trusted fans: we don’t need those capitalist fatcats to finance our brewery – we need you.

And, “you” responded. BrewDog managed to raise a staggering £5m in a mere 20 days.  Imagine what you could do with an extra £5m in your brewery!

Watt and Dickie seem to have an endless capacity for getting their brewery noticed… if not for all the right reasons.

From harmless campaigns such as recreating Guinness’s Good Things Come To Those Who Wait advert by dressing as a pantomime horse and going for a swim, to the tone-deaf Pink IPA or downright offensive #Don’tMakeUsDoThis – whether you agree or disagree with their company’s methods – BrewDog are extremely effective marketers, using the medium of the story to communicate their brand message.

Telling a story

Stories are emotive.  People don’t always make rational decisions and are often driven by emotion.  Facts follow feelings.

So, engaging consumers’ emotions and interest with a well-told story will give people a greater incentive to pay you a visit, drink your beers and get to know your company than merely taking a photo of a Hazy IPA and posting it on Instagram.

A story worth telling has to underpin all marketing efforts.

But how do you tell your story?  Do you even have a story worth telling?  Here are a few things to consider when creating your narrative and communicating it to your consumer base:

The right story for your drinkers

Who are your customers? There’s little point telling a story about your young, hip brewery if most of your consumers are older drinkers who like Best Bitters.  Define your archetypal customer and tailor the language and medium to them.

Create a narrative arc

Chances are your story will come from firsthand experience and be well-hopped with your values, feelings and personality.  Continually retell your wider story with examples and lessons learned along the way.  Ensure everyone with marketing responsibility uses the same language.

Make it human

Great beers usually have a good story behind them. Talk about your perseverance, share your hardships, and celebrate your successes; everybody experiences these emotions and can readily relate.

Call to action

A good story should evoke some kind of response from your customer.  By sharing your story, you’re helping people to emotionally invest in your brand.

This is why people feel so offended when breweries crowdfund and then sell out, leaving investors high and dry; not only was their money on the line but – more so – their vested emotions.

On a more positive note, a call to action can be as simple as providing a great experience in your taproom so they in turn tell the story to their friends and become your brand ambassadors.


Really listening is an art.  Listen to what your customers say about you: do they understand your story?  If not, you can adapt it accordingly.

Obviously, there’s way more to marketing than storytelling; digital, printed and social media, networking, websites, mailouts, public relations, etc, all go a long way.

But that’s another story…!

Sharing is cARING

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