Promotion of a guild’s website is fundamental to communicating with membership and the public about association activities and the importance of the state’s beer industry to the local economy. Websites also provide a space for advertising sponsorships from associate members, and to promote members’ beers and breweries to beer lovers within and from outside your state.
Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms help announce events, solicit need for legislative support, receive member feedback, etc. You want to encourage all of your members to follow the guild and to retweet/repost all of your announcements.
The Brewers Association continues to update the BA Media Database which contains thousands of beer, food, wine and business media contacts. An annual version of the database is available to guilds and brewery members.
Guilds can utilize this list to spread their message and build relationships with local journalists.
Resources: Media List Request Form
Print Material: Creating a statewide presence through print material like a brewery trail map are a great example. Read CraftBeer.com’s story: “America’s Top 10 Craft Beer Trails.”
Guild gear: Merchandise like shirts, hats, mugs, etc. Check out Michigan’s Guild Store.
Brand standards: When promoting a state’s beer and its breweries, a guild’s logo comes to be recognized as a trusted representation of an important local association.
Guilds and supporting member breweries build the brand by placing it on festival banners, case packs, and other promotional materials. The logo helps breweries to identify their beer as made locally, creating local jobs, and supporting the state’s economy.
Washington has made an outstanding guide for utilizing their Washington Beer Commission logo: the Washington Beer Brand Standards Guide. The guide was created to help state breweries most effectively use the Washington Beer logo, determine best colors and fonts for their materials, and keep consistent usage of the Washington Beer brand with all participating breweries.
From Eric Radovich, WA Beer Commission Executive Director: “With it, we hope to make it easier for each of you [member breweries] to promote your product as a Washington-made beer, attracting customers who value buying local, as well as building awareness of the high quality ingredients, taste and production standards of our state’s great breweries.”
Share the successes and challenges of your state’s brewing community with a wide-ranging audience.
Checkout these popular guild blogs:
State, City and National Beer Weeks
This is a large undertaking, but when done successfully, can be a huge fundraising source and promotional outreach for guilds. View CraftBeer.com’s Beer Week list and American Craft Beer Week calendar.
Has your state declared by proclamation a state craft beer week? This is often a great project that guilds can work on to develop trust and build relationships within the association.
By initiative of the California Craft Brewers Association, the California state Senate voted unanimously to pass SCR 66, a resolution introduced by Senator Corbett to declare February as “California Craft Beer Month.”
Great America Beer Festival® Support Your Local Brewery Guilds Pavilion
At the 2013 Great American Beer Festival, 14 guilds participated and poured unique beers at the Support Your Local Brewery Pavilion. This pavilion provides a promotional and educational opportunity for guilds to bring information on their state guild, state beer trail maps, and most importantly, serve member brewery beers not otherwise available on the festival floor, to thousands of beer enthusiasts.
This pavilion is an immense opportunity for very small and resource-challenged breweries that can’t make it to the festival with their own booth.
From Brian Butenschoen, Executive Director of the Oregon Brewers Guild:
“For the Oregon Brewers Guild it’s a huge marketing opportunity for us—it’s a chance for our brewers to talk about what brewers are doing in Oregon. We have a takeaway map/brochure that people can leave with that has two pages of events that can help people decide when they want to visit Oregon.
There’s not many times you can get info out to 50,000 craft beer lovers about what your state’s breweries are doing. Because we are at GABF, we now have permanent GABF page on our website where we have a listing of participating breweries, medal results and photos and videos of past medal winners.
Having a booth at GABF is also a benefit of membership brewery members—for participating breweries it’s another beer they can pour that’s not at their booth, another chance to talk to consumers. We have seven breweries that sell beer in Denver that are all guild members, so it’s another way to give back to the breweries that support the guild.”