Money & Business

New Hampshire Looks to Kick-Start Craft Beers With Marketing Nonprofit

By / Jan 23, 2014 Border Brewery owner Joe Ruotolo, shown with a growler from his brewery. (BrewNH press photo)

Brew New Hampshire, a nonprofit with both industry and state support, hopes to draw more attention to its fast-growing craft beer industry—and perhaps sell a few more bottles in the process.

Something’s brewing in the Granite State, but could a stronger marketing approach get things really hopping?

That’s what a few major breweries and some beer industry trade groups hope to pull off with a new marketing-focused nonprofit. Brew New Hampshire is a collaborative effort to help give the industry a major launchpad. The campaign started earlier this month and is already making waves. More details:

The approach: The Brew NH site offering resources on the state’s beer industry includes a strong social media approach, with Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook presences showing off the efforts by brewers. The collective approach is intended to help give the state’s budding industry a little more scale. “It seemed like the logical thing to do,” Beer Distributors of New Hampshire Executive Director Scott Schaier told Hampton-NorthHampton Patch. “These days you have to have some sort of critical mass [and large-scale cooperation] to get things done.

Building state pride: One reason for Brew NH’s founding can be seen in the success of its neighbor to the west. In Vermont, 20 percent of the craft brews sold in the state are made there, according to Granite State Brewers Association (GSBA) President Bill Herlicka. In comparison, just 1.3 of the specialty brews sold in New Hampshire are made in state he says. The economic impact of craft brewing on New Hampshire is actually higher than it is on Vermont, according to a Brewers Association study [PDF]. But much of the craft beer in New Hampshire is made at brewpubs, while most beer is sold in grocery stores, Herlicka told The Eagle-Tribune. “That means there is great beer consumed at great locations, but it’s not available elsewhere.”

The Beer Distributors of New Hampshire,  GSBA, and brewers such as Smuttynose Brewing Co. (which, side note, has a “minister of propaganda”) are all behind the marketing initiative. But Brew NH has backing from beyond the beer industry, including from the state’s Department of Travel and Tourism as well as its Department of Resources and Economic Development.

Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now and a former newspaper guy. More »

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