“What is really eye-opening is when people we gave media exposure or fundraising opportunities to in the past come of age and then show up to our festivals with such great memories.” What Robinson loves is the rigour with which breweries and distilleries have cropped up, he’s so happy with the industry. “We really love the courage and sense of adventure these brewers and distillers have. We have worked hard to promote craft beer in Alberta, and with the growing number of craft distilleries, we want to now do that for them as well,” he said. “The big challenge is getting people to find a new favourite. Past experience has shown that if we can get someone to move out of their comfort zone and try something different, they will embrace not only the beers and spirits, but also the culture and community that has grown up with them.” One thing the Alberta Beer Festivals company has been lauded for is their sly, humorous marketing campaigns. “We’re a small shop of five, and we’re family and friends. We’re so proud of what we do. The fact with the growing number of craft distilleries, we want to now do that for them as well.” “We really love the courage and sense of adventure these brewers and distillers have. We have worked hard to promote craft beer in Alberta, and
There are now over 180 cideries and breweries in the province, and Robinson equates their quality to a few area-specific advantages. “We have grown some of the best two-row malt barley in the world, and we have access to some of the best water. It goes to Banff to be filtered, and has to be by law, but they’re amazed at the clarity,” he said. “We’ve come a long way. When we started this, no one had the idea of trying beer festivals. But when people came out, they loved it, and these things grew at such a rapid rate.” Their sense of humility and community spirit never faltered when they became successful. Robinson says everything they do is for the people around them. “We’ve come a long way. When we started this, no one had the idea of trying beer festivals. But when people came out, they loved it, and these things grew at such a rapid rate.” Each event has two charities that will directly benefit financially, and over 70 charities have seen that benefit through ticket donations and other fundraisers. To date, they have donated over $300,000 as a company. “We first started doing Christmas charity funds, but we always knew from the start we needed a charitable and philanthropic arm to this business,” he said.
“We created this Beer U Quiz, and when people visited booths, they took quizzes at the end. There was a leader board on a screen, and people loved it. If you passed at the end, you got an MBA – a Masters in Beer Appreciation,” he said. They also ran a Cough Coach campaign, a satirical ad campaign that will help you fake an illness all week so you can go to beerfest. The campaign – built in-
“We like to be funny and market that way, but we also see the need to support these breweries. Palates change so quickly, and as a festival company, we need to draw more and more people in.” people in, and makes them chuckle, we can show them these festivals are the most fun place on earth and keep them coming back.” •
house -- gained national recognition. “We like to be funny and market that way, but we also see the need to support these breweries. Palates change so quickly, and as a festival company, we need to draw more and more people in,” said Robinson. “We truly believe once people come and try this out they’ll be truly invested. If that sort of marketing gets
Save money just for being a fan!
we’ve been recognized for our unique festivals and the way we promote them is amazing,” he said. They started a Beer University, meant to get people aware and thinking about the industry and what they drink. They brought malters, hop growers, canners, and home brew equipment companies together for a partnership with the Just Beer app.
Get exclusive discounts and deals available only on FanSaves. Download the FREE app today!
SPOTLIGHT ON BUSINESS MAGAZINE • SEPTEMBER 2019
33 SEPTEMBER 2019 • SPOTLIGHT ON BUSINESS MAGAZINE
Made with FlippingBook flipbook maker