By Julie Green, Marketing Manager Mosquito Joe

A conversation with Smartmouth Brewery

On November 10, 2016 Porter Hardy (President), Matt Schneider (Marketing Manager) and Chris Neikirk (Community Relations Manager) will open the doors of Smartmouth Brewery to not only share their beer, but also their grassroots marketing ideas you can incorporate into your own plan.  Chris Neikirk chatted with us about their presentation, and why marketing for a beer is fun!

Give us a little preview of your presentation and what attendees can expect?

We will discuss the founding of the brewery, the history of the logo and marketing materials, and the use of social and electronic media in our beginnings.  Also, we will delve into the naming of the brewery and several of our beers.

Do you think small business marketing that applies to breweries can be applied to all small businesses? Why?

On a high level, I think is it important for all businesses to tell a story and try to connect with its consumers on an emotional level. In that respect, yes, I think marketing that applies to breweries can apply to any small business.

What is your target audience for a brewery? Does that change over the seasons?

Our market is 21+, educated and primarily folks who live in Virginia. We have relied on social media but are expanding to more traditional print as we expand outside of Hampton Roads, and as the competition has expanded. The mix of social media and traditional media is also partially to hit difference audiences/ages. Seasons don’t really affect us on the marketing side, however they do affect our production, as many of the Virginia Beach locations are not open in the winter. We do have different products that release during different seasons so our marketing changes for those, but the amount of marketing doesn’t change.

What’s your favorite memory from working on the marketing team at a brewery?

I love when folks see the logo – both the mouth and the glass – for the first time. It was something that I didn’t see right away but I think it so clever. I think when folks get it; they smile and feel like they are part of our inner circle.


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