Creating a Craft Beverage Advent Calendar

How can it already be the first of December? The year has flown by! And for your craft beverage business, we hope this month will be busy [and profitable] for you with events, private parties, holiday shopping and other foot traffic. Time to finish 2021 on a strong note!

BrewDog 24-pack photo for Advent Calendar postRecently the team at Market Your Craft took a look at some of the promotional ideas that were gaining traction in the craft beverage industry. There are of course the seasonal go-tos like branded ugly sweaters; cold weather gear like hats and scarves; and the occasional elf dog costume. But what stood out to us was an increase in the use of Advent Calendar-style multi-packs, especially by beer brands. The idea: introduce a seasonal 12- or 24-pack of your own styles or a mix of local brands for sale in the tasting room and on-shelf at retail. Sometimes the packaging resembles a traditional Advent Calendar in how the styles are “revealed,” like this example from BrewDog (also available in a non-alcoholic version). It’s a clever tactic for a number of reasons:

  1. It can help deplete excess or aging inventory.
  2. The sales rep has more to talk about with retail buyers.
  3. New product introductions are less risky when paired with proven winners in-pack.
  4. Partnering with other local producers helps draw attention to the region.

If you and your team have introduced a seasonal multi-pack already, that’s amazing! We imagine it required months of planning and design to successfully execute. But for those producers who don’t have a seasonal multi-pack in-market currently, there are still plenty of ways to capitalize on the Advent Calendar concept this December!

what’s an advent calendar

Advent Calendar for Advent Calendar postAdvent Calendars are rooted in religious celebration of the Christmas season, first used by German Lutherans in the 19th century. From Wikipedia, “Advent” is a season observed by most Christian denominations as a time of waiting and preparation for both the birth of Christ and the return of Christ at the Second Coming. And while traditional Advent Calendars feature a manger scene, Saint Nicholas or winter weather, it has been adapted to a variety of themes, from sports to technology and yes, craft beverage.

The idea: a calendar of days leading up to Christmas, typically starting on December 1st. Many calendars use “windows” for each day which, when opened, reveal an image, a poem, a story or a small gift. Craft producers have embraced this concept to introduce seasonal mix packs, using a similar style of daily “reveals” to create micro moments for engaging with their customers. Plus, the packs make an excellent holiday gift for the craft enthusiast on anyone’s list! Thrillist.com has a list of some of the more popular Beer Advent Calendars available this season.

advent calendars without special packaging

KustomKraftLaser Beer Advent Calendar on Etsy.comA quick search on “Beverage Advent Calendar” on Etsy.com results in hundreds of creative adaptations of the original concept, predominantly holiday-themed bottle displays. This way, customers aren’t married to one particular style or brand of craft beverage for their 12 or 24 days of celebration leading up to Christmas: they can mix and match their favorites. Has your craft beverage business thought about partnering with a local Creator on a branded beverage display? If not this season, definitely something to consider for the future. A 12- or 24- bottle display is not only functional but decorative as well. Plus, you give your team an entirely new content stream to engage your customers by social, email and website, encouraging “stocking up” in prep for the holidays:

  • Livestream “reveals” with the production team.
  • Tasting and pairing events.
  • Cooking with craft beverages, or how to sip and stir.
  • Discounts, dollars off, BOGOs and other promotions to help your brand grow share-of-tree 😉

Which leads us to our social Advent Calendar, with 24 days of content to help drive engagement this holiday season. Photo Credit: KustomKraftLaser Beer Advent Calendar on Etsy.com

craft beverage advent calendar

Planning content around the holiday can be tough when you don’t want to post the same-old staged photos of glassware and seasonal decorations. Here’s an idea: take the framework of the Advent Calendar to create a robust social and digital calendar for the month! You don’t have to have a seasonal 12- or 24-pack selling at retail to take advantage of the spirit and energy of the holidays. Simply create mini events worth celebrating with your team, either in your tasting room or remotely.

Below are 24 days’ worth of content leading up to Christmas, categorized as follows:

  • LIVE: in-person and streamed events worth promoting to your customers.
  • REVEAL: something special or unique that builds the same excitement as opening the “window” on the Advent Calendar.
  • DEAL: meant to drive traffic and stock up as a last-minute push before the New Year.

Remember: there’s no formula here, just a framework for keeping your audience engaged. Imagine your own LIVE, REVEAL and DEAL content in the calendar below:
 

24 DAYS OF CRAFT BEVERAGE

2829301234
📆 Recipes for Holiday Leftovers📆 Cyber Monday DealsIntroduce the Advent Calendar Idea

📆 Day of Giving
LIVE: Tasting with the Production Team

📆 Pie Day
REVEAL: Meet the TeamDEAL: Dollars Off Purchase

📆 Bartender Day
LIVE: Craft Beverage Pairing

📆 Cabernet Franc Day
📆 Cookie Day
📆 Rhubarb Vodka Day
567891011
REVEAL: New Craft Beverage Release

📆 International Volunteer Day
📆 Repeal Day
DEAL: Buy One, Get OneLIVE: Decorating the Tasting RoomREVEAL: Upcoming January Events, Production Schedule

📆 Brownie Day
DEAL: Special Tasting Flight PromotionLIVE: Stream a Tasting Room Event

📆 Lager Day
REVEAL: Share a Homebrew-Scaled Recipe for the Enthusiast

📆 International Mountain Day
12131415161718
DEAL: Discounts on Select Tasting Room MerchandiseLIVE: Video Testimonial from a Customer

📆 Cocoa Day
📆 Green Monday
REVEAL: Tell the Story Behind the Label

📆 Screwdriver Day
DEAL: Pre-Order a Special Craft BeverageLIVE: Go Behind-the-Scenes with the Production Team on Packaging DayREVEAL: Share Branded Artwork in Hi-Res Formats for Download

📆 Maple Syrup Day
DEAL: Discounts at Partner Food and Entertainment Retailers

📆 Super Saturday
19202122232425
LIVE: Stream a Tasting Room Tour

📆 Special Holiday Hours
REVEAL: Season’s Greetings from the Owner

📆 Sangria Day
DEAL: Discount on Homebrewing Equipment

📆 Winter Solstice
LIVE: Cooking with Craft BeverageREVEAL: Tell a Story of Volunteerism or Charity

📆 Festivus
DEAL: Promote Gift Certificates as Stocking Stuffers

📆 Eggnog Day
📆 Christmas Eve
📆 Special Holiday Hours
📆 Christmas Day
📆 Special Holiday Hours
2627282930311
📆 How to Redeem Gift Certificates📆 Fruitcake Day📆 Stock Up for New Year’s Eve📆 Responsible Drinking Message📆 Bacon Day📆 Champagne Day
📆 New Year’s Eve
📆 New Year’s Day
28
📆 Recipes for Holiday Leftovers
29
📆 Cyber Monday Deals
30
Introduce the Advent Calendar Idea
📆 Day of Giving
1 (START)
LIVE: Tasting with the Production Team
📆 Pie Day
2
REVEAL: Meet the Team
3
DEAL: Dollars Off Purchase
📆 Bartender Day
4
LIVE: Craft Beverage Pairing
📆 Cabernet Franc Day
📆 Cookie Day
📆 Rhubarb Vodka Day
5
REVEAL: New Craft Beverage Release
📆 International Volunteer Day
📆 Repeal Day
6
DEAL: Buy One, Get One
7
LIVE: Decorating the Tasting Room
8
REVEAL: Upcoming January Events, Production Schedule
📆 Brownie Day
9
DEAL: Special Tasting Flight Promotion
10
LIVE: Stream a Tasting Room Event
📆 Lager Day
11
REVEAL: Share a Homebrew-Scaled Recipe for the Enthusiast
📆 International Mountain Day
12
DEAL: Discounts on Select Tasting Room Merchandise
13
LIVE: Video Testimonial from a Customer
📆 Cocoa Day
📆 Green Monday
14
REVEAL: Tell the Story Behind the Label
📆 Screwdriver Day
15
DEAL: Pre-Order a Special Craft Beverage
16
LIVE: Go Behind-the-Scenes with the Production Team on Packaging Day
17
REVEAL: Share Branded Artwork in Hi-Res Formats for Download
📆 Maple Syrup Day
18
DEAL: Discounts at Partner Food and Entertainment Retailers
📆 Super Saturday
19
LIVE: Stream a Tasting Room Tour
📆 Special Holiday Hours
20
REVEAL: Season’s Greetings from the Owner
📆 Sangria Day
21
DEAL: Discount on Homebrewing Equipment
📆 Winter Solstice
22
LIVE: Cooking with Craft Beverage from members of the Chico Beverage Association
23
REVEAL: Tell a Story of Volunteerism or Charity
📆 Festivus
24 (FINISH)
DEAL: Promote Gift Certificates as Stocking Stuffers
📆 Eggnog Day
📆 Christmas Eve
📆 Special Holiday Hours
25
📆 Christmas Day
📆 Special Holiday Hours
26
📆 How to Redeem Gift Certificates
27
📆 Fruitcake Day
28
📆 Stock Up for New Year’s Eve
29
📆 Responsible Drinking Message
30
📆 Bacon Day
31
📆 Champagne Day
📆 New Year’s Eve
1
📆 New Year’s Day

Sprinkled in there are additional ideas on social content 📆 for timely, topical posts. For even more ideas, download our Guide titled, “Social: Engaging Your Best Customers,” with 60+ content ideas and a step-by-step guide to social media strategy.

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