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.”
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.”