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The COVID era drove home the need for breweries to have diversified sources of cash flow. During the height of the Omicron wave early this year, Chicago’s Off Color Brewing was selling branded sweatpants at about the same rate it was selling beer: The first order of about 100 pairs of sweatpants, which retailed for $45 each, sold out in 16 hours. (After all, who didn’t need beer and sweatpants this past year?)
T-shirts and hats have been staples for decades, but as the number of craft breweries grows—and as their fan bases diversify—some are thinking outside the box when it comes to swag. From a greater range of shirt sizes to limited-edition, pre-ordered items, breweries can put greater care into their merchandise and reap the marketing benefits.