Why don’t Asheville Breweries support Beer City USA?

I decided to do some research on the Asheville area, Breweries and Beer City USA. After our team has put in dozens of hours campaigning and trying to make sure our area retained the BeerCityUSA crown; we wanted to see what each brewery in the area was also doing to make this happen.

We decided to put our focus on Twitter since the Beer City USA polls opened on May 1st and here is what we found:

1. Wedge Brewing – does not have a Twitter account, so they do not have an audience to share with and push for the Asheville Beer City USA votes.

2. French Broad Brewery – On May 2nd, there was a tweet about people talking “smacktalk” on the Beer City poll page. Then on May 11th, they put our a tweet saying “Asheville neck’n’neck with Grand Rapids” with a link to the poll.

3. Sierra Nevada – Not one mention of voting for Asheville as Beer City USA.

4. Asheville Brewing – Only one mention of the poll “Grand Rapids getting fired up about the Beer City Poll, remember to vote and if you leave a comment ; keep it clean, keep it friendly” but no link to the poll.

5. Oyster House Brewing – Not one mention of voting for Asheville as Beer City USA.

6. Lexington Avenue Brewery – Not one mention of voting for Asheville as Beer City USA.

7. New Belgium Brewing – Not one mention of voting for Asheville as Beer City USA.

8. Highland Brewing – Only one mention of the poll in a question type manner “Hello beer lovers, do you think Asheville should be Beer City USA this year? Vote here … Cheers” and they did put a link to the poll.

9. Greenman Brewing – No mention of the Beer City USA poll until today, May 13th, the last day of the poll. The 1st tweet about it was “Last chance… vote for Asheville today!…” with a link to the poll. The 2nd tweet about it was “Don’t forget to come in and vote beer city!!! We are close with Grand Rapids!” without a link to the poll.

10. Pisgah Brewing – One mention of the Beer City USA poll in the form of a retweet “RT @avlbeerguy: Grand Rapids, Mich. has the lead in the Beer City USA poll. Come on people,. time to vote for Asheville. #avlbeer” on May 11th, and they did not put a link to the poll.

11. Craggie Brewing – One mention of the Beer City USA poll in the form of a retweet “RT @bruisinales: RT @AVLBeerguy: Latest Beer City poll results: Asheville 29 percent, Grand Rapids 28 percent. Vote!…” and they did put a link to the poll.

Lesson: Next year have your tweeter, or marketing “guru” (lol) tweet this once a day… “Vote Asheville as Beer City USA 2013 http://…” and they can put it on their smartphone schedule as a recurring reminder once a day during the voting time. #DUH

I do not know what to say. I try to make excuses. I thought “maybe they are not tweeting or maybe they do not know how to put a link in their tweets” .. but after reviewing their Twitter stream, I see that is not correct. Even if your brewery has 2 or more hometown cities or many distribution points; vote for and promote the one in the big lead!! I know all of these companies benefit from the Beer City USA Title and Asheville being a brew and brewing destination, so why not support it? Maybe it is their marketing strategist who is not on the pulse? Maybe is the owner who is living high and heavy on past Beer City USA titles and does not care? Until Asheville loses of course… then they want to say “we tried.” BLAH! I see many of the breweries talking about themselves and their events; but when it came to Beer City USA, there was an apathetic silence of sorts. How are we supposed to support breweries who do not even step up and encourage people to vote for Asheville as Beer City USA? If local Asheville based breweries cannot get their act together to promote and support the movement, then my company and several others refuse to from here on!!

As far as the top Hotels in the area, the Hotel Indigo in Asheville was the ONLY one that supported the Beer City USA Poll. And they tweeted it at least 11 times! That is about as much as all of the AVL breweries put together. Really? No wonder why we are neck n’ neck with Grand Rapids.

What about Restaurants in downtown Asheville? Who supported the Beer City USA movement on Twitter? As far as we can see, it was Barleys Taproom & Pizza, 151 Boutique Bar, Strada Italiano, and also The Junction in the River Arts District. Sad, sad, sad. But thank you to them!!

What about the other Cities in the Beer City USA poll? Did their breweries support the Vote? What would happen if the AVL breweries really got behind this? Why don’t the Asheville Breweries support Beer City USA?

I don’t know.

19 thoughts on “Why don’t Asheville Breweries support Beer City USA?

  1. Lazy article, most of these breweries (with the exception of the breweries that aren’t actually in Asheville yet) have been promoting Beer City USA voting. It took me about 60 seconds to confirm that Green Man, ABC and Wedge have all linked to the poll on their Facebook pages. Not to mention that most breweries rely on old fashioned social networking (ie talking to their customers) to spread the world.

    • That is why we have said we evaluated on Twitter, and most of the breweries have their FB account linked to Twitter, so that is innaccurate. What you are saying is “hearsay”

  2. I don’t know, either, but maybe someone should ask the breweries. They may have some great reasons.

    The truth is, we don’t know what another Beer City USA title would do for the city and its beer tourism. Most people who know of the poll also know that Asheville has won the past two years. I’m not saying I don’t want a city like Asheville to win the title every year, but you could be overstating the importance. The Beer City USA title helped a lot in putting Asheville in the national spotlight. News of Sierra Nevada, New Belgium, and Oskar Blues moving in around the area have done the same thing this year. Are there really people who have been on the fence about visiting Asheville who would pack their bags as soon as they heard the city had won it’s third Beer City title? Probably not.

    From a local brewery’s perspective, they may have also felt they would be beating a dead horse to constantly tweet about the poll. It should be pointed out that there was a lot of chatter about the poll from Asheville and North Carolina-based accounts and it can probably be safely assumed that the message reached most of the local Twitter audience successfully, without the breweries adding to the noise. The goal here was to have everyone vote, not everyone vote every 5 minutes.

    • It is consistent branding and promotional reminders for a community effort. They should take the lead in that since it is their niche. And coming from them has more social influence than coming from others.

    • And safely assumed got us a tie, not the win. Not to say that we are not excited about at least that, but little effort was made as written in the article. We tweeted once about it and got 120 people to go to the page and check it out. The 2nd time we tweeted, we got 90 more. And so on. Today, our stats are up to sending 5000+ people to the voting page. The point being that with proper distribution and branding, Asheville could’ve have done better with the strategic help of all of the local breweries.

  3. I don’t think anyone cares about it any more, its not like its some official title given, its just some silly little online poll that is actually meaningless. If Asheville wants to be called beer city then they can just call themselves that, not like there is any official titles out there where that city can sue over it. Maybe its time this city gets known for something a bit more reputable than the alcohol capital of America or the stuffy upscaled organic food capital

    • True, but maybe they will not notice the effects until we lose and someone else it shouting the title. This is how it works. It is not “official” in some ways, but it is the Examiner contest and hold good validity in the craft beer community. Thanks for the comment!

      • I actually voted against Asheville & got all my friends to vote against it as well. I think this town has had the title long enough & it is time to let someone else have it because I think there is just too much emphasis given on the alcohol industry of this town. If we get any more breweries then perhaps our new title can be “Drunk Capital of America” then maybe we can get a Betty Ford Clinic to open a branch here

  4. We did our part at Bruisin’ Ales. Even with generalized poll exhaustion and planning for Asheville Beer Week. Around the shop we heard many comments for/against/indifferent. But we tied, didn’t lose, and hope we can now move on, be grateful for the economic benefits it’s had for WNC, and retire from it gracefully as the original, first, and four-time “BeerCity, USA.”

    • Yes! Bruisin Ales has always been a front runner in Beer City USA!!! Actually inspired AskAsheville to get behind it and support Asheville as so. Grateful for what we have and even for the Tie definitely. Congrats to Grand Rapids too for raising up this time! Good Beer Battle. Cheers!

  5. Seems like a bit of a non-story considering Asheville and Grand Rapids, MI tied the voting in a landslide. They each got over 5 times the votes of the closest competitor, St. Louis, MO.

    • Understandable. The story was not about the votes, it was about the lack of support from the main benefactors. Maybe this will encourage them to support it better next year.

  6. I can certainly understand the frustration you feel as someone who worked hard to keep the title here. I must admit that I would have rather Asheville not tied, but been the outright winner once again.
    However, I think I can also understand the breweries not promoting it as much as the enthusiasts did. In any awards competition it is the fans, critics, etc that truly decide. You could apply the same logic used in this article to any topic. For instance, you could argue that NC Breweries should promote their product more than anyone. Right? However, if you were to search the hash tag #ncbeer I would bet good money that you will find far more tweets from consumers than the breweries.
    I would like Asheville to keep winning the title, no doubt. However, what I would like even more is for them to keep making awesome beer and being a positive part of the community. If they do that, I will be happy to pick up a little slack and shout about them from the mountain tops.

    • Yes, very true! Wanted them to see the value in prompting their niche fans and followers to vote. Just like any campaign and vote, at least let the people know, remind them, and then a nice final push at the end. Thank you for the comment!

  7. While there might not have been a ot of “noise” on twitter, or as much as could be expected facebook was another story.
    Dont get me wrong, I am an avid Beer City USA supporter however dont you think that title has something to do with Sierra, Oskar Blues and New Belgium even noticing Asheville in the first place? Yes, its great they are coming, our economy thanks them REPEATEDLY! However, bringing in heavy hitter breweries could also be detrimental to the smaller craft breweries that Asheville prides itself on. Im just playing devils advocate here, but I hope it starts another perspective.

    • Yes Cat, that is definitely an issue with the small/larger breweries, but I think the big boys have plans on co-supporting the smaller ones in several ways. I hope so. And like you said, Facebook was another story, and I did not see much promo of it there either. If we really wanted to win this thing, we would have built a simple yet effective strategy and blown it out right! Maybe next year 🙂

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