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Marketing Beer: Give Me Space

With more breweries than ever and crowded shelf space, getting precious off-premise real estate takes hard work. Once you get it, keeping that placement takes more of the same.

John Holl Jan 1, 2020 - 9 min read

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When your brewery starts to package beer and you’re ready to send it beyond the taproom and into retail stores—regardless whether you decide to self-distribute or use a traditional wholesaler—it’s a part of the business that needs regular and careful attention. Getting that precious shelf space, especially in a market where your beer resonates, is a big win. Keeping it well-stocked and interesting is a real challenge. Ultimately it comes down to investing in your company in the right areas and using careful judgment at all times.

On the day four years ago that he opened Mill Creek Brewing Co. in Nolensville, Tennessee, Chris Going already had beer on the shelves of local stores and groceries. He achieved this by focusing on two critical things.

“The first was just focusing our attention on which wholesaler would work best for us. Who was going to be a partner with a big voice and the biggest seat at the table in our area? For that reason, we went with an A-B house,” Going says.

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John Holl is the author of Drink Beer, Think Beer: Getting to the Bottom of Every Pint, and has worked for both Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine® and All About Beer Magazine.