I’d say that’s great advice. So you all grew to 10,000 barrels pretty quick. Were there particular kinds of initiatives or particular kinds of accounts that you targeted that helped you get there?
Well, you can target certain accounts but it’s whether or not they’ll take you on. That’s a whole other issue. Of course you’re always looking for the whales, right? You’re always looking for who’s going to bring in the most volume. You want to make sure they do enough volume to make it worth your while because you have limited resources. So, the accounts that are doing good volume and you think are a good fit for your beer. You know, there are some accounts that aren’t a good fit for our brand. Nothing bad about the account, but if it’s a bar that I feel is more driven to do the domestic lites or the domestic premiums, your Budweiser and Bud Lites, and that’s all they’re selling and that’s what their clientele seems to want, then you’re probably not going to pursue that as heavily. Not all the time, but a lot of the time. Versus a bar that’s selling crafts already and if they bring you on they’re gonna sell a lot of your craft.
Is there one story or one thing that you could look back on and say, “Yeah, that really moved the needle for JDub’s to get to 10,000”?
Oh, for us it was packaging. For us it was putting beer in cans. That’s the lion’s share of our business now. And luckily we got in the market at the right time. For us it was getting on shelves and proving our worth on shelves. Now we’re statewide in Publix. We had to have a story to tell them. We had to have the sales to do it. Now, luckily, we’re in just about every Publix and fortunately the beer, knock on wood, is doing very well. I think every packaging brewery, meaning putting beer in cans, is trying to get into Publix in Florida.
We hear about Publix in Florida a lot actually. Everybody’s thinking about chains. You talked about quality and you talked about proving that you could actually sell this beer. Are there any pro-tips or trade secrets that JDub’s used to make that relationship happen? Do you have any secret sauce for the readers?
I would just say that you need to always be ready and persistently showing these retailers the data that will convince them that they can go ahead and take a risk to put you on their shelves. You just have to be constantly knocking on the door, showing data, and saying this is why we think we could do it.