In an earlier blog post, I demonstrated a child-like joy upon learnig a brewery was opening a stone’s throw from my former office. By the time Indeed Brewing Co. opened its doors in NE Minneapolis, my days at my former job were already coming to an end. At that time my family was living in the Longfellow neighborhood of South Minneapolis. Harriet Brewery was a short bike ride from my home, I could still indulge. As last summer came to a close, we sold our house and prepared to move into a new home in Hopkins. I was really going to miss all of the things that I loved in Minneapolis including a number of craft breweries within easy reach.
Our home in Hopkins is just off of Mainstreet. It has the feel of still being in South Minneapolis, was built in the 30’s, and we can still walk to a number of restaurants, including a decent sushi place. I was satisfied with the sacrifices we made to move to a suburb because we did not have to totally compromise on everything. One day, in the late fall, I was struck by lightning! A new brewery was opening in Hopkins, AND a record store (vinyl) was going into a space on Mainstreet just kitty-corner from there. The brewery sits on the intersection of Mainstreet and the Minnetonka Bike Trail, and within blocks of two other major bike trails. Well, looks like I’m not going to die a slow, painful suburban death after all!
Fast forward to January of this year, I start corresponding with the owners of Live The Dream Brewing Company. Blake and Jeremy are a couple of home brew enthusiasts who caught the brewing bug in college. After college, they each started different careers, got married, started families but never abandoned their passion for brewing. One day Blake was touring Surly Brewery and it suddenly struck him that opening his own brewery is what he was destined to do, Jeremy quickly agreed.
Four years, thousands of hours, and tens of thousands of dollars later, Live The Dream Brewing Company is a reality. The announcement of the grand opening takes place tomorrow, June 1st. I often ride my bike past the large storefront windows, a mere 7 blocks from our house, and peek in at the progress. It will be a beautiful facility; huge copper tanks, a large “L” shaped tap room and spacious patio. The folks of Hopkins and the surrounding area are going to love this place. Okay, but how are they going to find out about it?
Once upon a time Hopkins was a bustling community, but that was in the 50’s – 70’s. Mainstreet Hopkins is going through a revival right now, but is not exactly a hotbed of activity. Live The Dream Brewing Co will draw from the neighborhood, but also have to bring in folks from all over the Twin Cities. Jeremy and Blake heavily invested in the equipment and the building, marketing dollars are very scarce as they prepare to open the doors. They shared with me that social media will play a big roll in getting word out about their business as they build up their network. Thus far, much of their effort has been to reach out to Hopkins area businesses, which is important, but it will take the draw of people form St Louis Park, Minnetonka, Eden Prairie and beyond to establish a solid customer base.
LTD has a Facebook and Twitter page, but both need to be ramped up – quickly. Their social media networking should have three target audiences; the local community, area beer enthusiasts, and the biking community. It will be weeks/months of hard networking to build a solid network in each of those communities. Here are the current stats for Live The Dream:
- Facebook: 658 Likes, posts 2-3 times a week
- Twitter: 485 Followers, 161 tweets, sporadic tweets
- Website: update infrequently, needs work
Understandably, the focus has been on construction and not on the social marketing. It has to be pointed out, however, that if they can’t build a solid base of customers from the start, they won’t have the resources to stay open long. Social media is the low-cost way to build that network and get people excited. I want to see a line of people waiting for the doors to open on day one. I plan to be there!