Top Takeaways From Great American Beer Festival And Brewbound's Brew Talks

Read what brewing industry trends breweries and other beverage producers talked about during GABF and Brew Talks.

October 11, 2022

The 2022 Great American Beer Festival had no shortage of beer flowing for consumers with 500+ breweries serving 2,000+ beers. While there were hundreds of volunteers to help every brewery have a successful session, many brewery owners, COOs, CIOs, head brewers and other brewery representatives rolled up their sleeves to pull tap handles at their respective booths.

Below you’ll find some of the most interesting industry takeaways from our conversations with brewers and brewery leaders at their GABF booths, in the GABF brewers lounge, and at Brewbound’s Brew Talks.

Top Takeaways From The Great American Beer Festival And Brewbound's Brew Talks

  • Jessica Fierro, Owner and Head Brewer of Atrevida Beer Company, shares how important it is to brew a variety of styles in order to thrive.

    • "The biggest sell is relatability. The minute you can connect with the consumer [with a flavor that they like] that's where the sell begins."

  • A handful of brewers shouted out their respective state brewer guilds for working to create bills that allow breweries to do more. 

    • Some guilds are currently working on bills to allow third-party delivery or an increase in the number of taproom locations a brewer can have.

  • While eCommerce was a continued conversation with many beverage producers, we noticed a handful have chosen to invest in their retailers’ eCommerce platforms (whether for delivery where it’s legal or for pick up) rather than starting or maintaining their own direct-to-consumer platform.

  • When it comes to evaluating sales data, breweries need to invest more attention toward their retailer’s sales velocity to reduce the risk of losing the space permanently if there’s an out-of-stock. 

  • There are a lot of approaches for taking a brewery beyond beer and adding line extensions. In fact, CODA created a Beyond Beer book to help breweries strategize their  go-to-market approach.

    • According to Kyle Ingram, Brand Director of Sierra Nevada, going beyond beer is a rewarding way to bring new people into the drinking family. 

  • Consistently communicating mandates with distributors and retailers is still as critical as it has always been.

    • In regard to visiting chain accounts to ensure beverage products are still within code, Billy Clayton, Sr. National Account Manager of Odell Brewing had this to say: "In a perfect world, weekly [visits] would be perfect. As you get further away, 30 days is a good benchmark."

  • When speaking about sales data, breweries of various sizes said you need to get creative when using the data you have to pitch retailers, especially since syndicated data is expensive. 

    • “If you have [data], just make sure you understand how you're pitching it. So when the buyer questions you, you can answer it appropriately,” said Ryan Call, Director of Sales, Dry Dock Brewing

  • Knowledge gaps between producers and retailers can hurt the producer’s bottom lines. Consider the 19.2 can size. The numbers may work out for a brewery to pursue it for large retail chains, but if the stores don't have the space, then there’s a problem.

  • Regardless of size, breweries are putting more attention and intention on self-distribution.

    • Not only are breweries working harder to maintain relationships with retailers in their local or regional markets; they’re investing in fleets, people, and tech to do it well. 

High Fives To Award-Winning Encompass Customers

A huge shoutout to the GABF medal-winning Encompass customers: Breckenridge, Sierra Nevada, Elysian, New Realm, NoDa, Sun King, Russian River, Creature Comforts, Dry Dock, Bent Paddle, Fat Head's, MadTree, 10 Barrel, Crooked Stave, Cigar City, Odell, The Bruery, Sudwerk, Ghostfish, and Left Hand. View all the remarkable award winners.

Learn more about the software these brewers use at  

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