You may remember the Beat the Brewmaster launch announcement as part of our Craft Brewers Conference and BrewEXPO America coverage. The concept is a mobile website that beer enthusiasts can use to match their sensory skills against the brewmaster who created that beer.
“It’s hard to engage your patrons in a busy bar or tasting room, but Beat the Brewmaster is solving that problem for the brewers who’ve signed up,” said Chris Clarke, co-founder.
Here’s how Beat the Brewmaster works. Whether on a computer or their smartphone, players log on and find the beer they’re drinking. Once they’ve completed the challenge of rating a given beer, they can get instant feedback about how their impressions fit and don’t fit with the assessment of the brewmaster. The better the fit, the more points they gain, and they climb the leaderboard, eventually unlocking levels: Enthusiast, Pro and Master. All of this can be shared on Facebook and other social media sites.
“I see a lot of potential here,” said Amanda Becklin of Odell Brewing Co. “We put 14 of our core brands and seasonals up on Beat the Brewmaster. We’re excited to see our fans and craft beer enthusiasts engage with the beers they love to drink while enhancing their sensory skills. BTB will really help our fans understand more about each brand while enjoying every sip.”
Some early adopter breweries are using Beat the Brewmaster to educate more than just their consumers. Reps are using it as a tool to better understand their own beers themselves when talking to customers and beer drinkers. Others are even using it to help educate everyone from their distributors to servers.
“Everyone tells me that education is the focus of any craft brewery to succeed,” commented Marty Ochs, who most recently served as vice president of sales for Oregon’s fast-growing Ninkasi Brewing. “Well, this is the tool that educates craft drinkers about specifics of your beer, what it pairs with, who made it and so much more about the brewery. You add all of that into the fact that Beat the Brewmaster is a great programming tool for the sales and marketing team to use turnkey.”
Beat the Brewmaster helps turn brand engagement directly into sales. Anyone from the brewery — owners, brewers, sales and marketing reps — can message players to provide information about the beer, offers of specials or news about events and promotions. It also provides measurement tools during tap takeovers, pint nights, sampling programs and other events. By gaining insights into how beer drinkers perceive the beer, when they drink them, and many other questions, breweries can develop more effective sales and marketing programs.
“We’re really excited about the potential that Beat the Brewmaster can have on growing the craft beer segment.” Clarke said. “We’re signing up more breweries every week. It’s currently free to put your beers up, and the feedback has been nothing but positive. And because we’re beer guys ourselves, it’s always fun to see who signs up next.”