TWIB – Anniversary in Annapolis

This Week in Beer (TWIB) is a feature where I’ll highlight some craft beers I had during this past week mixed with some related (and unrelated) thoughts. Yes, it’s a play on the name of the show This Week in Baseball which I grew up on and loved.

This was a special weekend for me. My wife and I celebrated our first anniversary. We took a trip Annapolis, MD, a place we’ve never been to before.

Fordham Brewing Company

Well I was in charge of planning the trip and right off the bat when we arrived Sunday afternoon I took us to get lunch at a restaurant that doesn’t open until 5:00pm. Nice work. So plan B kicked in and I walked us around until we found the most crowded spot which ended up being Rams Head Tavern.

I ordered the Fordham Brewing Company sampler. It consisted of 6 of their beers:

  • Rams Head IPA
  • Rosie Parks Oyster Stout
  • Copperhead Ale
  • Helles Lager
  • Tavern Ale
  • Wisteria Wheat

The Copperhead Ale was my favorite by far. It was complex and flavorful. However, it was the only one I’ll ever get again besides maybe the Oyster Stout. The rest were average at best.

Boulevard Brewing Company Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale

Even though I struck out with lunch I hit a homerun with dinner. We went out to Severn Inn and feasted on seafood while sitting on the water.

I’ve had Tank 7 before and knew it was a winner. This beer is one of the few Saisons I enjoy. It’s dangerous at 8.5% ABV so I only had one while my wife took down a delicious white wine sangria.

Boulevard is relatively new to being distributed to where I am in Virginia so I’m just beginning to have their beers and hear about the company. From what I’ve seen these guys “get it” and are doing things right. I mentioned them in a post last week Why a Brewery Needs an Online Video Presence.

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Why a Brewery Needs an Online Video Presence

I have a problem.

I have a specialized skill and a hobby that hasn’t quite embraced what that skill can do for them.

I’m here to find a solution and to be the solution to this problem: Why is there a lack of online video presence in the craft beer world?

Maybe I’m missing something but I do not see the craft beer industry embracing video as an effective medium yet.

Why should they?

It’s the natural progression of mediums over the last 150 or so years. Look at the broad trends:

  • News: Newspaper → Radio → TV → Online → Online Video
  • Entertainment: Live (i.e. plays, sports) → Movies → TV → Online Video (i.e. Streaming Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, Podcasts)
  • Business Representation: Word of Mouth → Print Ads → TV Ads → Website → Social Media
  • Social Media: Email → Instant Messanger (I really miss AIM) → Myspace → Facebook → Twitter → Pinterest → Instagram → Video-type Instagram not yet created

A number of these “social media by video” sites have failed but it was because the time wasn’t right. Today video is so accessible and easily created with high-speed Internet and cell phones with amazing cameras. Also digital space is so cheap these days that it’s easy to store your video content locally and online. My guess? Vine is going to be the next big thing.

So let’s sum up my argument right now: The time to start an online video presence is now. You can get in on it, early and easily. And I can help.

How can a brewery start an online video presence?

I’m going to focus on how a brewery (or in fact any bar, blogger or business) can better represent themselves through online video.

To be a brewery today you absolutely must have a website and social media presence. Side note: I believe that Facebook is dead. To me it is a giant billboard for companies and your target market is whizzing right by you. This is a space for you to showoff your brand but is meant for the uneducated buyer — the Macro beer drinker. I strongly believe that a craft beer drinker has the social IQ to see through and tune out companies on Facebook simply because they’ve already passed the first test and not fell for or has already broken out of the Macro brewery advertising spell.

If you look at the trends and your target market, which is people that are seeking out what you have to say, right now is the time to add video to your website and use your social media program to share it.

Why Video?

Video is easy to consume. Is it easier to read a 1,000 word article or watch a 1 minute news story on TV or online? Would you rather read a Q&A in a magazine with a brewer or see and hear that brewer talk and you can better understand his/her passion and points.

How does a brewery get started?

  1. Start a YouTube page. Do this immediately. YouTube makes it extremely simple to embed a video onto your site (especially a WordPress site) and to share it to your social media outlets. Check out Boulevard Brewing Company’s YouTube page for a great example.
  2. Grab and iPhone or pick up a $300 camera at Best Buy and give it to the youngest person at your brewery. iMovie is free on Mac computers and there are other free editing applications for Windows computers. Go out and shoot something, anything.
  3. Publish it to your YouTube page and embed the video on your site and share it on your social media accounts.
  4. Repeat. Do this over and over again until you find what your brewery likes to talk about.
  5. Go pro (hey, that’s where I fit in!). Find a local videographer and editor to shoot and edit your video content. It can be as inexpensive as a free college kid looking for demo reel work or a freelance professional that’ll run $150+ an hour.
  6. Watch your brand grow and expand.

What should your video content be?

Here are some ideas:

  1. Get to know your staff — people enjoy drinking beer from people they like and can relate to
  2. Show how a certain beer is made — get as simple or complex as you want to get but remember most people tune out online videos after 2-3 minutes
  3. Updates and upgrades — have someone from your staff talk about what’s on tap this month and/or if there’s been any upgrades to your facility (new tanks, expanded hours, etc.)
  4. Teach them something — show them that you know what you are doing. Don’t be afraid to go really niche here (i.e. yeast strains, boiling temperatures, hop variations etc.). The people watching your videos will be into this kind of stuff.
  5. Highlight events — record your events and ask people to submit their own pictures/videos. Make sure to credit them and this’ll make sure to give them reason to share your video with all their Macro-drinking friends. Do you do this event annually? Re-package and distribute it again just before next year’s event so people will make sure they won’t want to miss it.

Sales pitch

What kind of businessperson would I be if I didn’t try to sell my services here? Contact me if you’re even remotely interested in what I’ve said above. I’d love to talk about your online video presence and how to improve it. I’m near DC but can surely consult remotely if you’re not close by.

Summary

  1. If you look at the trends, an online video presence is the next step for a company
  2. It’s simple to start up your video program
  3. There are a number of topics you can cover
  4. I’m here to help

Breweries, this is something you need to do to set yourself a part from the rest. Get in early. Readers, please leave a comment or contact me privately with your thoughts and ideas on this topic. Happy shooting and editing. Cheers!