Craft beer festivals provide small brewers with a unique marketing opportunity. With most of those festivals canceled or postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic, brewers now wonder how they’ll get their name out.
Zaftig Brewing Company sees a noticeable sales bump in the weeks following a beer festival, owner Jim Gokenbach said. People who discovered Zaftig at the gatherings come to the brewery’s Worthington taproom to see what else it has to offer.
Zaftig won’t see those bumps this year, as nearly every central Ohio outdoor festival, including those intended to showcase the region’s craft beer, have been canceled or postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Brewers said they mostly break even at festivals but gain an invaluable marketing opportunity, especially for small operators who don’t distribute their beer widely.
Around 85% of Lineage Brewing’s business comes from its taproom, said Michael Bryne, who co-owns the Clintonville brewery.