Ideas & Inspiration

3 Brewery Brands Mastering Branded Merchandise

February 21, 2020

It’s a big moment for breweries. While the number of breweries in the UK has doubled over the last five years, analysts suggest that this growth has begun to stall. It’s more difficult than ever for new breweries; which means it’s also more important than ever to differentiate yourself in a crowded market. 

Branded merchandise has long been lucrative for many businesses – and one area where we’re seeing a massive impact is, not surprisingly, at breweries. More and more breweries are leveraging creative products to promote their brands and create additional revenue streams. While any business or brewery can slap a logo on a hat or t-shirt, there’s a better way with a bigger return. In this post, we let you in on a few breweries that are maximising their merchandise strategy and reaping the full benefits. Could your brewery do the same?

1. BrewDog Offers Something for Everyone 

First up is BrewDog, a Scottish brewery with a mission to share their passion for craft beer with the world. The company seeks to introduce people to “new dimensions of flavour they never knew existed” and they’re doing a fine job of it. One reason? Beyond the beer, the company offers a wide range of merchandise that appeals to all types of people, including pet owners. Check out BrewDog’s robust online shop, where you can purchase anything from apparel to collectable pin badge sets to glassware; there’s even an entire section of merch for dogs

Not only does BrewDog offer something for everyone, but everything it designs and sells is connected and complementary. There’s tremendous brand and design consistency, so every item can stand on its own as a clear representation of BrewDog; combined, the merch helps tell the brewery’s story. It’s a smart strategy. One of our favorite items is this awesome, eco-friendly LoneWolf tote bag. The black, screen printed bag is made of 100 percent organic cotton, featuring a ferocious-looking wolf and BrewDog’s “LoneWolf Gin” message.

LoneWolf Tote Bag

2. Camden Town Brewery Knows its Customers

Next up is London-based Camden Town Brewery. The company offers beer, gifts and new merchandise through its online shop and, like BrewDog, offers a wide range of products at various price points. The company does a great job with branding; everything shares the same look and feel for consistent and memorable design, like this white chino cap and matching Lager Lover Tote bag.

Another solid strategy from Camden Town Brewery is to offer merch that will appeal to the larger hospitality or pub industry. For example, this Camden Bar Blade would be a perfect promotional giveaway for local pubs or restaurants: It looks cool, it’s functional and it helps raise the visibility of the brewery every time it’s used in these more public settings. For your own beer brand, consider designing merchandise that you can get into the hands of local businesses and staff.

Another tip is to look for opportunities for promotional campaigns. For example, Camden Town Brewery recently put together  a “Lager Lover” pack for Valentine’s Day. The special was featured on the brewery’s homepage, and comes with a special bottle of lager, a limited-edition pint glass and a matching tote bag.

3. Be like Laine Brew Company. Be yourself!

Though relatively new to the London beer scene, Laine Brew Company is already making a big splash, thanks in part to its funky, artsy, urban look. The brewery’s focus on “flavor, experimentation, good times” is evident through unique design and imagery.

Laine Brew offers a wide range of merchandise that perfectly captures its ethos through creative, out-there designs. Through well-designed merchandise, the brewery not only stays true to itself, but also makes a memorable mark on new customers – an especially important strategy as a newcomer in the market. Check out some of the cool yet practical accessories, like phone cases, tote bags and badges and even a branded lighter that doubles as a bottle opener.

Another cool move by Laine? Offer a discount! It’s a proven strategy to bolster your brewery business and engage your beer fans, old and new. Right now, Laine is offering a funny “New Year, Same Me” discount of 20 percent off orders. What discounts could you offer? Perhaps something connected to a new beer release or upcoming beer festival? 

In closing, we hope this post inspires you to adopt a few of these brilliant strategies for your own brewery or beer business. Remember, offer a wide range of merchandise at different price points, be true to your story and your brand and look for opportunities for special promotions. 

Here’s one more tip: listen to your customers! Consider asking your beer fans directly – via social media, a newsletter survey or in person – what kind of merch they’d like to see. They might share some neat ideas that you haven’t considered. On top of this, listening to your fans is a surefire way to build goodwill and brand loyalty in today’s competitive beer market. (We also love a challenge – let us know what funky idea they come up with and we’ll help you find a way to make it!)

Please get in touch with us anytime. Cheers!