What’s in a Brewery Tasting Room?

Beall Brewery Insurance reports that, according to the Brewers Association, in 2016 microbreweries with tasting rooms grew faster than those without.

Additionally, craft beer sales at brewery tasting rooms were up in 2016. More than 9% of craft beer sales occurred in the tasting room in that year, up from 7% the year before.

It’s possible for a brewery to profit more on beer sold in its own tasting room than sold through distribution. (Although, of course, there are many benefits to the right distribution plan and partner.)

The Benefits of a Tasting Room

And a well planned, well executed brewery tasting room can be a powerful marketing tool.

  • An appealing atmosphere will encourage customers to linger—and to return often.
  • Your brewery tasting room is an opportunity to express your brand values on a very large canvas.
  • Your brewery tasting room offers you the opportunity to build relationships with your customers—and to convert them into brand ambassadors.
  • In a crowded marketplace, your unique tasting room helps you to differentiate your craft brewery from the competition.

Challenges of a Tasting Room

However, there are many points to take under consideration before opening the doors to your tasting room.

  • Is there a space in your craft brewery that will make a comfortable, welcoming tasting room? If you can only squeeze a tasting room into an awkward, leftover space, it may be a bigger challenge to turn this into the marketing win you hope for.
  • Do you have sufficient insurance coverage to protect your business and yourself from customers coming and going? Have a frank conversation with your insurance agent. Honestly consider all the risks a tasting room will expose the business to—from customer slips and falls on slick floors to liquor liability claims if a customer has an incident after being served at your brewery.
  • Are your staff thoroughly trained in how to interface with the public, how to spot the signs of intoxication, and how to assist customers who become belligerent or otherwise difficult?

Most craft beer fans have experienced a wide variety of tasting rooms. Think back on the ones you enjoyed visiting—and the ones you don’t intend to re-visit ever again. Consider how a tasting room could positively impact your business, and protect yourself from the added risks to which it will expose you.

For more than 25 years, Beall Financial and Insurance Services, Inc., has been helping corporations and individuals protect their most important assets. The agency’s client base covers a spectrum of niche businesses, such as craft breweries, that require specialized insurance packages and knowledge. With California offices in Redlands and Newport Beach, Beall Financial and Insurance Services serves clients nationwide.