West Chester, Pa., is home to Levante Brewing Co., which produces 8,500 bbls of beer per year and prides itself on having brewed well over 300 unique beers since launching in August 2015. The brewery is now launching a bold new program named Mercury — an innovative craft beer delivery service — that will provide freshly canned beer to Pennsylvania residents 21 years of age or older.
“It is our hope that shipping fresh cans of our most sought-after beers will delight our customer who often can’t make it to our brewery for our can releases,” said Tim Floros, CEO and president at Levante Brewing. “Customers who are familiar with the quality of Levante beer can expect the same drinking experience, only now, ordering it from the comfort of their living rooms.”
The company revealed that test deliveries through Mercury were completed in late 2018 and that they have received rave reviews.
“The beer itself was packaged very well, arrived with no damage and tasted great,” stated Brian Payne from Yardley, Pa.
And we’re not just talking beer within driving range of the brewery. Mercury covers every inch inside the Pennsylvania borders.
“The package arrived in perfect condition; I thought the design of the box and cardboard holders was really smart, and the beer tastes like I’m sitting in the brewery,” mentioned Michele Lombardi from Pittsburgh.
This is a wild, exciting idea. How will they pull this off? Has Levants stumbled onto the beer sales concept of the future, or will this lead to endless customer service headaches? We followed up with Jim Adams, one of Levante’s parnters, to learn more about how they are going to pull this off.
How are you going to take orders? Are you using a particular software or service to manage this?
Adams: We are taking orders via our website levantebrewing.com. The site is built and hosted on Shopify.
How are deliveries handled? And will you be hiring more staff to do any of this?
We partnered with a third party shipping company in Pennsylvania. After we receive customer orders, we package the beer and take it to their location. They then ship it across the state of Pennsylvania to our customers. We have hired additional staff dedicated to area of our business.
Could a customer possibly subscribe with this model? Like a Netflix subscription to receive a sixer every other week or something like that?
We have given this thought, and we may enable this in the future.
Were there regulatory hurdles you had to clear to be able to do this?
Nothing prohibitive. Pennsylvania law equates this as a direct to consumer purchase from the brewery. We will adhere to all PA LCB laws regarding the sale of four-packs, including taxes owed and limiting quantities per state law.
What is your early vision for what the demand for this could possibly be in terms of percentage of sales made this way?
Sales of cans represent a significant portion of our retail sales. We don’t distribute our canned offerings, so this is a way of getting our beer into the hands of Pennsylvania residents [only] who don’t live close to our West Chester, Pa., location.
The nature of craft beer and customer expectations has changed. We’re pleased to create another convenience for our customers by providing more access to our beers. Mercury is our way of elevating the craft beer consumer’s experience in a way never done before in the state.