A couple of months ago I was asked at work (I work in a corporate law firm) if I could facilitate a beer tasting. The goal was to raise money to help end woman’s cancer. We charged $20 per person and anything we made we donated it to Princess Margaret Hospital.
I called about 15 breweries in the GTA. I stressed that the donation could be beer (I asked for about 6) or could be t-shirts, coasters, posters, and/or other merchandise that could be used for giveaways. I understand that this is probably something they get asked all the time for. I was not feeling very encourage by the time I was on my 7th call. I received responses like: we don’t have resources for someone to drop it off (needless did they know I was willing to pick it up)…we don’t do donations due to demand…we’re too busy…we need at least 6 weeks to process your request…etc.
The tasting consisted of 40 lawyers and articling students. I would roughly say 17 considered themselves a beer drinker. And less than handful were familiar with Great Lakes or Wellington beers. A few of them came up to me and ask me for other availabilities on the beers and where they can buy Great Lakes or Wellington beers.
From this experience my thought is, from a local brewery standpoint, this is a great audience to try to target. Most corporate events consist of wine – beer unfortunately is not a common drink. A lot of these people were interested in knowing more about local breweries and asked me to recommend other local brews. I know for a fact that the people I talked to went to seek out Great Lakes and Wellington beers for weeks after due to that small exposure. Someone who claimed that they were not a beer drinker discovered Wellington Iron Duke, which we had at the tasting, and went out to buy more !
I look forward to doing more of these events (not necessarily for cancer). Love introducing people to beer and I loved that the macro beer drinkers are now familiar with Wellington and Great Lakes.