3 Brewery Marketing Tips for the MI Brewers Guild Beer Festival

One of the most highly recognized festivals in Michigan is back for their classic summer beer festival! The MI Brewers Guild Summer Beer Festival takes place every year in Detroit, Michigan along with 3 other seasonal festivals throughout various Michigan cities. According to MI Brewers Guild, more than 20,000 people are expected to attend all four festivals this year. For Grand Rapids, also known as Beer City USA, and across West Michigan close to all the breweries will be pouring beer. What does this mean to breweries, especially those brand new or not as established? Breweries can create a memorable experience for beer drinkers alike despite how big their fan following is. Beer festivals should not only be about remembering the beer, but remembering the breweries. With over 150 breweries attending and over 1,000 craft beers, beer festival marketing is critical to bring beer lovers back to your taproom.


It doesn’t matter if 20 breweries are attending a beer festival or 500, creating an experience beyond just pouring beer is how to stand out amongst the crowd. 

  • Think of a different style set up. How creative can you be with how you set up your taps and booth? Are you dispensing beer from a cooler? Let’s be honest, we’ve never been impressed seeing taps hooked up to cooler.
    • Imitate your tap room set up or an aspect of your brewery. Is there something unique about your taproom or brewery you can tie into your booth setup?
  • Keep them around. Depending on the amount of space you have, creating a place where beer drinkers can linger and chat with one another will creating a lasting impression and positive association with your brewery. Let’s be honest, at most beer festivals there’s usually not a lot of room to hang out, let alone sitting space. Legs get tired after standing for awhile, give the people what they want! 
    • Take into account the seasons. Is the beer festival you’re attending in the winter? You could add fire powered hand warming stations that will keep beer drinkers around and cozy at your booth. This will likely draw drinkers in as well to get warm.
  • What’s on tap? Being bold or creative with your booth set up is important, but don’t forget to tell the people what their there for, the beer! Make sure you have some sort of display that clearly says what beer you have. Everyone hates trying to peer around everyone in line just to see what a brewery is pouring.
  • Send your best. It can be tempting in preparation for a beer festival to devote the majority of your time to brewing the best beers and logistics. What may be forgotten is who will be behind the bar pouring your beer, or representing your brand. Beer festivals are centered around appreciating the art that is craft beer and having a good time, but also marketing your brewery and creating awareness. The people behind your bar should be an accurate representation of your company and be able to sell your brand. 


Stickers and buttons are the predominant promotional product giveaways at beer festivals. With every other brewery handing them out, how do they make an impact when all is said and done and the attendee has stickers and buttons from every other brewery?

Promotional products that are contrary to the norm and more importantly useful, will make a greater impression and will be kept and used for far longer. 

  • 69% percent of consumers would pick up a promotional product if they deemed it useful.
  • 62% of recipients of promotional items did business with the advertiser after receiving and item.
  • 77% of consumers say a promotional product’s usefulness is the number-one reason to keep it. 






Promotional products are one way to keep the conversation going far after the tents are torn down. Another highly effective way to continue the conversation is through social media.

  • Run a contest. Encourage beer drinkers to snap a photo at your booth or drinking your beer and then hashtag with a specific word or phrase. Offer an incentive for them to post it on their social media accounts, such as a free brewery swag bag or chance to win a pair of free tickets to the next festival. This also a great way to get user generated content to use for future marketing!
  • Had a special beer on tap? Brew another batch and give cards to festival goers encouraging them to come to the taproom and show the card and be able to order the exclusive beer they loved.
  • Photobooth. A type of photobooth is another way to keep people talking on social media long after the festival is done. These can be intended to be funny or goofy, posed with a brand celebrity or a place to just take photos with your friends with the brewery logo in the background.
  • Brewery tours and discounts. Every one loves discounts and free stuff. To get craft beer lovers back into your taproom, offering a discount as an incentive will surely work to get a handful back trying your beer. Along with or separate, offer a brewery tour. Have a slow day, Tuesday, Wednesday? Offer a card to come get a free tour of the brewery on specific days. This may increase the number of people in your taproom on a slow day and ultimately ones who may return.


If you’re looking for the perfect promotional items or apparel for the MI Brewers Guild Summer Beer Festival or any upcoming festival visit our contact page so we can help you get started. If you are a new customer, mention this post and receive 10% off your first order.

Also you can visit Ink My Event, the events division of MarkIt Merchandise, to request a free sample box so you can feel, see and touch.

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