As the only salesperson for Big Oyster Brewery Mike Anderson spends a lot of time keeping in touch with the brewery’s more than 100 restaurant and bar customers on Delmarva. It’s something you have to be built for, being up all the time. The easiest way is to have it as part of your general disposition.

For Mike, the best part of the job is being able to interact with the people who will end up representing his beer when he’s not there. Developing relationships with bar managers and restaurant general managers who have the final say in which beers get pushed comes naturally to him.

“It’s fun to sell the same beer in multiple demographics,” he said. “It’s also the most challenging, selling beer in wine bars and whiskey bars, but the challenge is half the fun.”

Big Oyster’s OCHMRA debut was a bigish deal, and Mikes opportunity to press a lot of flesh and share a lot of beer. The brewery has been expanding significantly in the last six months and is getting ready to take its place as one of the breweries that supports the Shore as a craft beer destination.

Beer is personally public

Hanging out with industry people one and one and talking up Big Oyster is only half of the job. The other half is going directly to the drinkers and asking them to add Big Oyster to their drinking repertoire. Craft beer drinkers will try most beers, but getting them to choose your beer out of the minimum of five tap choices at a given bar takes cultivation.
“We obviously love to do the charity events whenever possible, but the big events are always the best,” he said. “There’s nothing better than having a line of 50 thirsty beer drinkers waiting to drink beer.”
Festivals and special events are huge opportunities to make an impression on the drinking public. Having a great beer is really just part of it. There is lots of really good beer out there. Making connections can be the difference between getting people to give your brand a chance above and beyond the beer they happen to be drinking at a festival.
It ends up being as much about enthusiasm as anything else. Mike really digs being in the business, and he’s genuinely proud of the brewery he represents. He also likes being part of the larger beer community, hanging out with the reps and brewers from the other breweries on the peninsula.
“Almost all of the brewery employees are super-friendly and enjoy working and selling beer together,” he said. “We have a great local craft beer scene in Delaware and we look forward to growing as a craft beer tourism destination location.”

Tony Russo
Author: Tony Russo

Tony Russo has worked as a print and digital journalist for the better part of the 21st century, writing for and editing regional weeklies and dailies before joining the team that produces and among other destination websites. In addition to having documented everything from zoning changes to art movements on the Delmarva Peninsula, Tony has written two books on beer for the History Press. Eastern Shore Beer was published in 2014 and Delaware Beer in 2016. He lives in Delmar, Md. with his wife Kelly and the only of his four daughters who hasn't moved out. Together they keep their two dogs comfortable.

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