Above Image: Shawn Mallioux, owner of Stack Brewing in Sudbury, says he’s more selective about which craft beer festivals his business attends since they’re purely marketing opportunities, not financial ones. (Samantha Samson/CBC News)
Shawn Mallioux shouts over the popping and swishing sounds in his brewing warehouse.
“That’s 6,000 litres of beer.”
The owner of Stack Brewery in Sudbury, Ont., has made a name for himself in Ontario since the business started almost 5 years ago. The company now distributes beer across the province in The Beer Store, LCBO and restaurants.
But Mallioux says he’s not sure if craft beer festivals have helped him get to this point.
“You don’t make any money going to the festivals, and it’s hard to say if it increased sales in that market,” Mallioux says.
“It’s hard to track and measure.”
Festivals best for new brews
Mallioux says these events are best used as marketing tools. But even if brewers are looking to expand their reach, established and growing businesses should be more selective when it comes to registering booths.
“People make the assumption that — because craft beer is a hot topic — if you throw craft beer in the lineup of your festival, everyone’s going to flock to it,” Maillioux says.
“But some people don’t market it, they don’t put the money in for the advertising, so no one knows. I think that hurts the industry because the people who do attend it, they’re kind of let down.”