Besides being fun and an additional source of revenue, branded merchandise and swag is a great way to make sure you’re engaging your customers. In an increasingly saturated market, you want your beers to stand out, but you also need to build brand and name recognition to capture and keep the interest of beer drinkers with dozens of options. Here are some of the top benefits you’ll see when you invest in unique and brand aligned apparel for your brewery.

Reinforce Brand Values

Maybe you’re a well-established brewery that’s been around for many years, or maybe you’re just starting out but hoping to stick around for a while. Either way, apparel is a great way to highlight your existing brand or to announce and promote a rebrand. Think outside of just a patch added to a cap or a simple t-shirt featuring your logo. Your brand is more than just showing off your selected fonts and colors - it’s a communication tool between you and your customers.

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Think about your customers and how you want to engage them. What type of climate do they live in? Outside of hanging out at your brewery, what activities are they usually a part of? There’s a lot of crossover between hoodie fans and t-shirt fans, but probably a little less between scarf and swimsuit wearers. Customers will feel more connected to a brand that understands and recognizes their needs, which will then, in turn, reinforce your brand values.

Highlight Special Events and New Beer Releases

While it’s great to have consistent apparel lines that are available year-round, running a limited line tied to a specific event can be a great way to encourage additional engagement. A new beer release - especially a beer you feel is unique, highly representative of the type of beer you brew, or a beer you think is going to be particularly popular - is the perfect time to create some brew-specific merch.

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These types of releases can be especially powerful when they’re tied to a time of year. Summer-time lager or fruit beer release? Consider tank tops and caps. Fall or winter heavier IPA, stout, or porter? Think hoodies, scarves, and beanies.

Be Inclusive

As the popularity of craft beer has grown, so has the audience and fan base. But you wouldn’t always know that based on the culture around beer drinking and the types of merchandise available. When you're creating a line of branded merch for your beer or brewery, don’t forget the oft-overlooked 51% of the population: women. According to Nielsen - Harris on Demand polls from 2018, 40% of the 21+ population are now craft beer drinkers. Nation-wide, of that 40%, women represent 31.5%, and in some markets - like Portland Oregon - the break down of craft beer drinkers is 52.7% female and 47.3% male.

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Both the number of overall craft beer drinkers and the number of women drinking beer have been growing year over year, so make sure you have merch for this fast-growing segment of the market. It can be as simple as creating sizes and cuts of existing merchandise that will better fit women, but you could also consider some pieces that are specifically made with women in mind, like leggings, bathing suits, and dresses. You can also show families they’re welcome at your brewery by having apparel options for kids and babies.

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People already love your beer, now it’s time to get them excited about repping your brand. Keeping your audience top of mind as you decide what types of branded apparel to produce will go a long way in creating customer loyalty and enthusiastic brand ambassadors rocking your gear in the wild. We have plenty of beer and branding loving experts on our team to help you design a line of merchandise that’s as unique, fun, and funky as you are. Let’s chat!

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Alex Bair

Written by Alex Bair More by this author Arrow