There’s no way around it: from the smallest, oldest pub in town to the biggest sports bars, crafts spirits are now an unstoppable fact of the industry. No matter how reluctant your regulars or how traditional
your pub, it’s always a good idea to look at expanding your range and target audience.
What are Craft Spirits, anyway?
Admittedly, the term ‘craft spirits’ is just about as vague as ‘craft beers’. The general perception is that ‘craft’ items have more care involved with their production – care not only for the quality of the product but for the history behind it and also for the drinkers. The rise of craft spirits as a key part of the industry is not just a ploy by the big companies. The average drinking crowd these days is far more aware of what it is they’re drinking – especially amongst the younger drinkers.
How can I sell them?
It is not only the distillers and companies that need to care for the product; as the first point of contact between the customer and their drink, you need to show that you care for it every bit as much as you care about the customer’s experience.
- Encourage your staff to learn about any new spirits available on the bar. It doesn’t have to be comprehensive – just read the blurb on the back of the bottle! Little facts to throw around that make the patron curious.
- Variety is the spice of life! As exciting as these drinks are, don’t go mad – one or two craft spirits from across the board is a good place to test the waters. You may find that your regular customers have a particular taste, or you may find that the preferences vary wildly.
- Put on a show. Your customers are paying for a premium product – so it must feel like they are a premium customer – a special garnish, a nicer glass. Nothing too theatrical, but a little bit more care to show them that their drink is something different from the usual.
And remember: It doesn’t have to be an expensive or limited edition. Many standard spirits can be given a new life by the right promotion. You don’t have to stick a gold label on supermarket own-brand vodka, but many old favourites are so for a reason; they just need the dust blown away.