Beer Subscription Programs: The Pros and Cons

Craft Brewers Conference 2022
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Speakers: Barry Holmes, Maria Pearman

Innovation abounds in the brewing industry today, most notably in how we take our products to market. COVID-19 brought a number of changes in the regulatory environment and kicked the door open for more avenues for retail sales to consumers. Beer subscriptions are becoming increasingly popular, and we will discuss how managing a subscription program affects production planning and sales and marketing efforts. We will also discuss differences in the margin between a subscription program versus a brewery that sells through a wholesaler and/or taproom. Finally, we will discuss the financial and legal nuances that any brewery with a subscription program should be aware of.

Learning Objectives:

  • Gain an understanding of the potential operational pitfalls of subscription programs and how to avoid them
  • Understand the unique accounting practices for subscriptions
  • Learn how a subscription model affects production planning and marketing
  • Discuss differences in gross margin between a subscription model vs. a traditional brewery model

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