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Battle Born is more than a state slogan, it’s a beer with a western attitude

Since its inception in 2011, Battle Born Beer, located in Reno, NV, has made a specific decision not to focus on brewing specialty beers, but on an easy-to-drink lifestyle lager. Lifestyle beer is characterized by being a beer for daily consumption. “We saw a white space opportunity to create a brand that identifies with the fiercely independent spirit of Nevada and to create a flavor profile that appeals to the broad-based consumer without trying to ‘outperform’ the market like so many other craft beers deal with. to do, “said management at a roundtable at the brewery.

What is Battle Born? It is the motto of the state of Nevada. The term recognizes that Nevada became the 36th state during the Civil War and was an integral force in passing the 13th Amendment that freed slaves. The state of Kit Carson, Comstock Lode, Mark Twain, Hoover Dam is known for being an unconventional, rebellious and unfettered town. Nevadans who, regardless of their location, have proven to be proud and fiercely loyal to their heritage.

Craft beer is all about marketing. David Ogilvy, of advertising fame in the 1970s, repeatedly said on this subject: “It is not the ink, it is the thinking.“”Ogilvy placed a great emphasis on research-driven, data-driven marketing that defined what the market wanted. Everything with Ogilvy depended on planning and strategy, “says Brian Visaggio.

Battle Born Beer is a company intensely focused on knowing the market and staying focused on developing a beer for that market: Nevada. They’re run by a guy who’s dedicated his career to working on brand strategy and innovation for major consumer brands. It tends to make sense for a craft beer entrepreneur to use research to identify and fill a new niche in a specific geographic market.

“I made a decision and wanted to make beer for Nevada, and for the people who identified with that fundamental belief of an independent and unassuming spirit that is ubiquitous in our state,” says Jeff Pickett, founder of Battle Born Beer.

“I had the unique experience of experiencing Northern Nevada as an outside transfer student when I attended the University of Nevada in the late 1980s. When I returned in 2005, I was reminded of that modest, independent spirit of Nevada that was ripe for me. for a beer brand to capture a growing market. ” There are a few craft beer companies in Reno whose owners also came out of the University of Nevada-Pigeon Head and Revision.

Pickett says he doesn’t want to be a craft beer disciple per se, but to understand the market first and then give the market exactly what they want. “I have been helped immensely by craft beer entrepreneurs in Europe and the US and I have learned a lot about craft beer, industry trends, and I use this research daily to create a world-class beer company in Reno. and Nevada “.

“Brand success in the craft beer industry is about creating a platform of core beliefs that are genuine and aligned with you and your consumer,” says Jeff Pickett. Beer, or any product, is not something you do in a can or keg and expect people to knock on your door. You must give the consumer a reason to believe and feel that the product and brand represent those beliefs.

Here’s your recipe for beer success:

  • Develop a brand that aligns with your purpose, your “reason for being.”

  • Develop a formula / recipe that is aligned with that brand and your target consumer.

  • Strategically align your distributor and distribution network with your consumer and market.

  • Understand your key metrics for ON Premise and OFF Premise channels.

  • Hire people who believe what you believe.

  • Ensure adequate capitalization to implement strategies and tactics.

I looked at some craft beer market data on the web and spoke to a few advertisers. Much of my conversations, including with TTB and other brewers in the US, state:

  • Every brewer and style of beer has a market. Some discover information by trial and error.

  • Scale is important.

  • A strategic plan will dictate the location of the brewery, equipment, brewing styles, and equipment.

  • A marketing plan included details of a strategy for selling, distributing, and promoting the beer.

  • The Action Plan are the details.

So here are a few things about craft beer in Nevada that led to Battle Born Beer.

The macro-level craft beer market is saturated. The Brewers Association reports that the majority of the population lives within 10 miles of a craft brewery. With approximately 9,000 craft brewers, it’s easy to see how that’s possible. In 2021, craft breweries are projected to close at roughly the same rate as startups.

The Brewers Association states, craft brewers are known as innovators. Additionally, craft beer is sometimes made with non-traditional ingredients that are often added to give them distinction. There are many brewers who feel that you must produce IPAs, Sours, Stouts and in your tasting room / faucet you need at least 12 tap handles to show consumers that you are a force.

So is there room for craft brewers for quality everyday beers aimed at the casual consumer? “Yes, and some people are beginning to understand the niche that we think exists in Nevada,” Pickett says. Note that the best-selling beer in America is Bud Light and Coors Light, accounting for more than 30 million barrels and 15 million barrels respectively in 2019. “Someone in America likes a clean, crisp, lager beer. tasty and we want to set them up with a fresh beer from the western Nevada brand. “

After working with 5 breweries in Nevada and reluctantly even one in California to produce the beer recipe, Battle Born Beer decided they needed to have more control of their supply chain. In 2018 they acquired a location and spent more than $ 1 million on infrastructure alone to bring it up to the standards of a high-quality craft beer producer.

Another thing they learned was that teams are the tools of the trade. Quality craftsmen buy and use quality tools and through experiences with contract producers we decided to go for stainless steel equipment only from North America and not China. “We just didn’t want to fight the problems with China’s brewing equipment,” Pickett said. The Battle Born facilities are based on a projected volume of 36,000 barrels of beer over 5 years, facilitated by significant new momentum in the eastern Nevada and Las Vegas markets.

Speaking of start-up costs. “The general rule of thumb to get an estimate and actually double it is true. A small operation, with no plans for significant expansion, can be achieved for $ 300,000,” Pickett says. But there will be limitations. Battle Born Beer continues to use outside consultations for legal, real estate and construction needs.

Will the Nevada market support a great craft-style beer? “Good beer doesn’t always mean loaded with exotic hops and yeast, classic Pilsner’s are still great centuries later,” says Pickett.

Are there opportunities in Nevada for a Nevada-style beer? Here is a comparative look with some other states. These data may indicate some opportunities in Nevada.

Let’s look at some comparative data. Nevada has a population of 3.1 million. By contrast, Vermont has a population of 637 million and California has 39.8 million. In population alone, Nevada is close to the size of Arkansas. To keep things relative, we can assume that Nevada is 5 times the size of Vermont.

We already know California is a craft beer powerhouse with 907 craft brewers, this makes them the number one craft brewing industry in the US producing 3,664,080 barrels. Nevada has 45 craft breweries and produces 87,469 barrels compared to Vermont with 68 craft breweries producing 345,540 barrels. Remember, Nevada is 5 times the population of Vermont and only produces 25% of Vermont’s barrel production.

To keep things relative. Nevada is ranked 43rd (out of 50 states and Washington DC) in the number of breweries per 100,000 adults 21 and older. Vermont ranks # 1 with 14.2 breweries per 100,000 adult residents age 21 and older. This is accomplished with a ranking of the 33rd largest breweries in the state. Nevada ranks 38th.

California has the most breweries, but only ranks 28th among breweries per capita per 100,000 residents age 21 and older. The state with the highest per capita number of breweries is Vermont at 14.2.

If the folks at Battle Born Beer have discovered an underserved market that isn’t saturated, Nevada seems to offer an opportunity for growth. It was recently reported that Nevada is experiencing the fourth fastest population growth in the nation with most of the growth coming from California residents moving to Nevada.

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