Early one spring day in 2012 I got the news, big news. I was working at my job at the cartography company in the cavernous Northrup King Building in Northeast Minneapolis, an old warehouse converted to artist lofts, when the property manager strolled in and casually mentioned, “Did you hear that there’s going to be a brewery in our hood?”. “Where? When?”, I could scarcely contain my excitement. “About 50 yards from here, across the railroad tracks.” From that moment on, I began scheming ways of running a tap line under the train tracks and into the our office.
Alas, the fantasy was short lived, by the time the Indeed Brewing Company opened in the Solar Arts Building early the following spring, my days at Hedberg Maps were coming to a close. Map publishing is not exactly a booming business these days. Craft beer, however, IS! Hedberg published a couple editions of Twin Cities Beer Map, and I …um, volunteered to do some research. There were a few pints enjoyed on Indeed’s patio, a mere stone’s throw from my desk.
So, in the name of academia and for 25 points in this Social Media class, I, once again, donate my time and effort to…volunteer some “research” on local craft breweries. Of course, one must know about what products one is writing about, but that story, my friends, will have to wait. As you know, there has been an explosion of craft brewery openings in Minnesota and throughout nation. In the Twin Cities alone, we have 15 at the latest count, with more under construction. Scarcely a day goes by without craft beer being mentioned in the local media, it is a BIG DEAL.
So, imagine the new revival of an industry that is being championed by and catering to a generation of urban hipster, 20-somethings to early 40-somethings. Pop you head in a any new brewery tap room and there’s hardly a male without facial hair, this ain’t your father’s beer hall, (though he might like it!). The women follow the same demos (minus the facial hair). It all looks like a scene out of Portlandia. That being said, this is an industry that is being promoted and fueled by social media. In this blog series, I want to examine the role that social media plays as these baby beer companies learn how to crawl, or, in some cases, are already running gracefully.
If I couldn’t have a tap line coming into my office, I could at least enjoy the whimsical artwork behind Indeed Brewing Company’s brand. Kind of steam punk meets Alice In Wonderland, they have a very creative approach to their website. Indeed Brewing opened during the 2nd wave craft breweries in the Twin Cities, following on the heels of Surly, Flat Earth Brewing Co and Lift Bridge. When they opened their doors at 711 15th Ave NE in the Solar Arts Building on a side-street in NE Minneapolis there were no retail stores, bars or restaurants around for blocks – only old warehouses, some converted to artist lofts, in an aging industrial park. How in the hell was anyone going to find this place? Indeed did not have an advertising budget when they launched (I know, I tried to sell ads space to them in the beer map!) to lure in the masses. Enter social media! Their large patio and tap room was filled almost from their 1st week because they had done their homework and communicated; what they were, what they offered and where to find ’em – all via Facebook, Twitter, their website, events and earned media. Their creative efforts were poured into stunning artwork and design that complimented their brand.
These early efforts have paid off, they’ve gone through two expansions in the past two years to increase brewing and bottling capacity. The tap-room remains very popular. Events like Art-a-Whirl bring in thousands to their location.
Some observations on Indeed Brewing Co.’s social media:
- Facebook: 10,000 Likes, almost daily posts, mostly self-promotion, always including photo/graphic
- Twitter: 12,000 Followers, 3100 tweets, 3-6 tweets daily, mostly self-promotion, lots of retweets
- Blog: weekly, very well done!
- Google +: 1132 Followers, last post in January
- Vimeo: 4 videos, last posted 5 months ago
- # of events promoted digitally = 20 during the month of May
Clearly, Facebook and Twitter are the engines that communicate to their target audience. Where Indeed stands out is that they pay attention to the artwork and photos posted and tweeted. It reflects the image of the brewery and is of high quality. I give their social media efforts an “A”.