Beer marketing is about beer and marketing. The main thing both of those have in common is people. If you want great beer or great marketing you need great people.
At #BeerMarketing our goal is help beer people get better at marketing and to help marketing people get better at marketing beer. So enjoy the first of an ongoing series of interviews of beer people, marketing people and our favorite: beer marketing people.
Beer Marketing: Ken Weaver, Massive Potions
Ken is the founder of Massive Potions a pretty cool beer comic. Yes a weird beer comic. You might know Ken from his previous writing and other efforts in craft beer. Either at All About Beer, or his awesome book The Northern California Guide to Craft Beer.
Weaver, who is based in Petaluma, CA, previously served as editor in chief of RateBeer Weekly. He also serves as a regular contributor to FSR Magazine, focusing on improving beer’s presence in the full-service restaurant industry; columnist and reviewer for the Rare Beer Club; and publisher of his beer release newsletter 3 Beer Island. His first book, The Northern California Craft Beer Guide, was named a finalist for an NCIBA Book of the Year Award. In 2013, Weaver earned first-place honors in the North American Guild of Beer Writers’ contest in the Best Beer and Food Writing category.
How would you describe what you do to your grandma?
I make a weird comic and sell beer-related stuff.
How would you describe what you do to beer industry peers?
Yeah, I still make a weird comic and sell beer-related stuff!
What’s your super power?
The ability to never grow up.
How long have you been involved in the beer industry?
A little over a decade?
What was your ‘gateway/intro/omg’ beer that got you into enjoying beer rather than just consuming it?
Rogue Shakespeake Stout in college. mmmmmmmmmmmm……
What are the last three beers you drank? (Brewery, beer name)
HenHouse Certified Independent AF,
Sierra Nevada Resilience,
You get only two beers while stuck riding the mars rover. Which two do you pick? (Brewery, beer name) and why?
Saison Dupont & Jolly Pumpkin Bam Biere; those feel like rover-driver beers
What is your “OMG, right now, can’t get enough of it, must drink more” beer?
Pretty much anything hoppy from HenHouse Brewing Co., our local go-to.
What does “Beer Marketing” mean to you? (be as verbose as you want)
Increasingly, telling the story of your brand in a way that makes people care. And that’s hard to do well.
What beer company do you think does an exceptional job at overall marketing? (product, promotion, people, retail, packaging, social etc)
Firestone Walker, Modern Times, HenHouse Brewing Co. All three excel in their own way at telling a connecting story.
What’s your favorite beer marketing this year? (brewery and whatever marketing they did)
Sierra Nevada’s Resilience campaign. Absolutely perfect in every way.
What is your #1 pet peeve about what too many beer companies do wrong in their marketing?
Breweries that focus only on selling (or happy hours, etc.) rather than including compelling long-term narrative. Marketing is life.
What two marketing related activities do you wish more breweries would do more of?
More stories that connect and more long term narrative.
You only get to choose one: What’s more important for the long term success of a brewery? And Why? Exceptional Product or Exceptional Marketing & Branding
You’re prolly screwed if either’s not working at this point!
Is the overall Beer market:
- Over-saturated (too many breweries, not enough drinkers, more closures than openings) or
- Under-saturated (unmet demand, more breweries open than close, more beer will be consumed.)
Over-saturated many places; still under-saturated in some spots. There are plenty of places with few if any choices for good beer.
Is YOUR City Over or Under saturated?
I’m in Petaluma, CA so… Definitely not Under!
What are your Top Three breweries in your city?
Beer Marketing People are Awesome.