The 2019 Festival of Iowa Beers featured 49 Iowa breweries who served up 197 different craft beers to 1,200 beer lovers. Here’s the FoIB app and let’s peek inside this 15th annual event with a look at the data generated from within our beer festival app!
The 100th brewery just opened in Iowa and this chill gathering continues to feel like the industry’s chance to celebrate together. Our team really enjoys #FoIB, which hosted at Millstream, the state’s very first brewery, and it was a treat to once again collaborate with the Iowa Brewers Guild to activate our beer festival app. It’s exciting to see how our slick platform continues to unlock new levels of attendee engagement, while saving serious time for event organizers and providing valuable data for everyone.
It was also neat to see our Best of Fest Award create more fun competition between brewers, who are all passionate about the beer they brew. Jack and Lucas from Flix Brewhouse came into this event with a clear goal of taking home the hoppy hardware and by actively encouraging attendees to rate the beers they sampled, this team was able to create all sorts of hype around their beers. After their DDH Nebulas IPA won Best of Fest, we all celebrated together and actually decided to visit their a brewery for a post-event tour in Des Moines! This award is just so much fun, so thanks to everyone who used our Vendor Portal to showcase their beers in the beer festival app, congrats to Flix Brewhouse (Instagram/Twitter) and we’ll see all you beer lovers again soon…cheers!
Our team once again collaborated with the Iowa Brewers Guild to activate our beer festival app. Since 2018, we’ve optimize the event organizer’s experience to save time, expanded how vendors manage their own beer lists and unlocked new ways attendees can plan, track and share their brew fest experience. This commitment has resulted in an affordable platform that does everything it needs to do, without unwanted fluff. As you can see from this ICBF summary, our event app fuels meaningful engagement and all sorts of interesting analytics for event organizers, vendors and the community overall.
One new element we brought to life was our “Best of Fest Award”. Our tap handle trophy was given to the brewery with the beer that received the highest/most ratings within the FliteBrite app during the event. This award was fun to make and had brewers excited as well.
We tracked all the data in real-time and enjoyed a random reveal (see video below) as everyone scattered after the event. It was neat to see how much our award winners (Franklin Street Brewing Company from Manchester, Iowa) appreciated the award and we had a great time celebrating with them afterwards. With so much interesting data at our finger tips, we’re excited to award more of these at future events!
Today marks the maiden voyage for how vendors can interact with our beer festival app. This new feature was unveiled as our new Vendor Portal sent invite emails to each of the 60 vendors that will be showcase at the upcoming BrrrFest 2019.
We’re so excited to be the official app fueling this craft beer event and we’ll be on-site to experience this indoor beer festival that celebrates the beers of winter and the brewers who make them!
Today’s mini milestone was the key first step that invites vendors to easily setup their profile and quickly create their beer list.
As we did some final preparation for deployment, Dave at SingleSpeed Brewing Company got to be the first guinea pig. With just a smart link and without any direction, here’s what he had to say about the profile setup and adding 7 beers to his real-time list of things being served at his booth for this upcoming beer festival.
“Are you guys kidding me? I handled that in what seemed like 3-4 minutes. Well done guys!”
We also tested a text message link with Scott from Firetrucker, so that was another passed test using the manual vendor invite feature we built in to aid event organizers. Scott liked the quick password and profile setup, and is excited to add his beers next time he’s at his computer.
We’re excited to hear from everyone else as invites land in a bunch of inboxes and to see how everything holds up as we unleash this sharp new way for organizers to save time, while vendors benefit from a slick tool set to make them look sweet. We’re giving the vendors Thurs-Sunday to setup their profile and beer lists before we announce the official BrrrFest Beer List next week!
Once vendors get setup, we’ll open the app to thirsty beer lovers excited to see their full beer list for the first time. That’s always fun watching as excited attendees get signed in with Untappd, build a little wish list to plan their visit and pick up last minute tickets as they get ready for an enlightened beer sampling experience inside another great craft beer event fueled by FliteBrite.
Thanks to the Bens at FliteBrite, the Iowa Brewers Guild, the BrrrFest organizing crew and all our brewery friends who will hopefully enjoy the beer list manager in our new Vendor Portal 🍻
Introducing the FliteBrite vendor profile system built to save time by making real-time beer list management a breeze.
“Instead of a few doing a lot, allow many to do just a little.” -BEN
If you’re an event organizer, you know how challenging it can be to wrangle a bunch of different vendors to get you beer list organized. The official list of all that’s being served at your craft beer event is something that attendees want to see and a great promotional opportunity to drive ticket sales a few weeks from the event, but it can be like herding cats trying to manually organize your entire beer list.
After using our beer festival app at different types of events, we realized our platform could help organizers be way more efficient by allowing vendors to manage their own profiles and their ever-changing beer lists. We made the entire process super slick, easy and fast:
The FliteBrite Vendor Portal was built to save time and because it allows us to scale. We’re excited to hear what event organizers think of this new tool that gives vendors a chance to showcase themselves on the app, while saving them time and still offering a fresh new way for attendees to track all their favorites from the event.
If you’re an event organizer planning your calendar, we should chat!
After the successful deployment of our brew festival app, it was time to try something completely different.
Iowa Festival of Beers was in it’s 12th year and our beer fest app was a nice touch at this historic and chill event.
Imagine yourself in a magical field behind the oldest brewery in Iowa, having your choice of 200+ different beers from 40 Iowa breweries.
In short, 50 Iowa breweries, the Iowa Brewers Guild and around 1,200 beer lovers came together for a chill afternoon celebrating Iowa beers at Millstream Brewery.
There were 225 unique Iowa beers being served and as you can see in our post-event report, we had 587 app users track 433 beers. We awarded Contrary Brewing with most total ratings (28), while Orange Lazarus Milkshake from Alluvial Brewing Company and Larkness Monster from Lark Brewing tied for top rated beers. Along with all the seasonal Oktoberfest brews, it was interesting to see sour beers take over IPA in that new spot at most rated beer style.
This was the second big test for our beer festival app. Although we saw less overall engagement at the Festival of Iowa Beers, this was expected because of the rural location and cool, but very low tech vibe. It felt like nobody was on their phones, but after a great time sharing a few brews with so many brewery-owning friends, we returned home and were pleasantly surprised by the event’s analytical data that even at smaller craft beer events, we’re onto something here.
Cheers to Iowa beer, the amazing people that make it taste perfect, bratwursts and watching thirsty craft beer fans track their favorite tastes from throughout the day.
Here’s how it all went down. As our beer flight app was being piloted at local restaurants, breweries and bars, our team collaborated with the Iowa Brewers Guild to use our evolving smart flight platform to connect beer-loving attendees with their tasting experience at live events nationwide. Feature ideas have now evolved into reality and we’re thrilled to announce the unveiling of our brand new beer event app at The 2018 Iowa Craft Brew Festival!
“It’s been such a pleasure collaborating with so many industry allies throughout Iowa and this partnership with the Iowa Brewers Guild is special. Together, we’ve build a fun way for thirsty attendees to enjoy, track, rate and share their favorite beers at this year’s Iowa Craft Brew Festival!” -Ben McDougal
Here are key features attendees will enjoy:
Special thanks to J. Wilson, Kelsey Seay and the Bens on our own team. Together, we’ve built something event organizers, vendors and attendees will all appreciate! We look forward to seeing everyone at the Iowa Craft Brew Festival and we hope everyone has fun drinking, tracking, rating and sharing your favorite craft beers. Cheers 🍻
As we evolve to continue unlocking a more engaging tasting experience, we’re giving customers more control and working to provide anyone the opportunity to serve smart flights.
We’ve been building this company for over three years and we’re so excited to unveil our new line of mobile apps! Our beer flight app puts the power of smart flights in customer’s hands at restaurant, brewers and bars, while our beer event app unlocks the smart flight experience at craft beer festivals and beer tasting events! This new line of mobile apps cost significantly less than our ultra premium electronic paddles while unlocking the next level of interactivity.
Wisdom brewed into our evolved platform:
The moment of decision is what really counts.
Selling more beer is good, but increasing total ticket is best.
People enjoy learning more about what they like.
Balancing tech with tradition is still very important.
Lasting connections lead to more true fans.
We’re all tech, but hardware is hard, software is magic.
Stay drunk-proof simple.
HOW IT WORKS:
Customers scan your custom QR marker or visit a short URL to setup a flight in one click, then you serve the flight like you always do. Behind the curtain, user profile information, menu management, personalized recommendations, Untappd check-ins, tracked flight history, social media sharing, promotional specials and real-time analytics all flow to our online dashboard.
This digital approach to smart flights require your staff to change nothing behind the bar. We feel the heart (and cost consciousness) put into how so many craft beer establishments serve beer flights, so we think you’ll also love how these additions to our product works seamlessly with your existing paddles, trays or stands.
We’re working hard, but also having fun and hope you are too. If you serve beer flights at a bar, restaurant or brewery and want to do something super cool for only the price of a few beers, ask to see mobile smart flights today and we invite you to browse all sorts of new stuff around this website. Cheers!
So many folks who read this will have built their own business. Entrepreneurs know how key community support can be for startups. Our company and the members of our team have been so fortunate to be fueled by wise allies who want to help, organizations built to push startups forward and a community of fellow entrepreneurs passionately building things they care about.
We’re lucky to have built #SmartFlights in Iowa.
Did you know our paddles are manufactured right here in Iowa? We think that’s kinda cool and although it’s taken over two years of serious persistence paired with hard work on all fronts, we’ve solved problems for craft beer establishments and the thirsty consumers they love.
Along with product development, the engaged network of friends nationwide is so meaningful for this venture, but Des Moines knows it’s cool. We define the word supportive here in the Midwest and that’s what makes building big ideas in Iowa so much fun. The energy one can derive by accelerating others is hard to match, so along with tapping into so many great connections, we’ve always stayed dedicated to bringing others together. Another fun fact is that all three of our founders originally met back in the early days of 1 Million Cups Des Moines. So much as changed since the early days, but our team’s collection of paired skills is special and we have a connected community to thank for that.
Along with endless mentoring support, real financial investments from throughout Iowa has allowed us to build magic. We built on our founder’s investments by earning a big state grant and winning cash rewards at a variety of business pitch contests. It’s been an adventure unlike any other and whatta treat building a new era of smart flights.
As we now brew FliteBrite to the next level, we just wanted to take a moment to say thanks again to all who have supported this adventure. We appreciate our family, early adopters, all the introductions to restaurants, brewpubs and brewery hot spots that need smart flights nationwide, community leaders looking to connect us, an industry full of awesome people brewing art and now even strategic investors ready to make some money.
Jump on this flite. The future is brite.
We beamed into the Kauffman Foundation, a mothership for entrepreneurship, to announce BIG news for our company! As you saw in the video above, Ben’s pitch is baked to perfection and the entire Q&A is included in the full-length video. After our reveal at 1MC Des Moines and the 1MC Fargo experience, #1MCKC completed a trifecta of epic 1MC adventures.
After meeting everyone at 1 Million Cups Kansas City, Ben stayed in KC to attend the national 1MC organizers summit. #1MCOS was an amazing opportunity to connect with leaders from around the country and we’re thankful to have such an active community builder leading our team!
36 hours of pure energy later, Ben drove back to Iowa just in time to join Sinclair for a pitch to win up to $25,000 in the finals of the John Pappajohn Venture Competition. Winners will be announced next week, but no matter the results, it was a pleasure sharing our story and we’ve worked hard to earn these business-building opportunities.
Looking ahead, we’re about to deliver 20 smart beer flight paddles to our first national establishment, so stay tuned for news on where smart beer flights land next!
At the core, I believe community builders are passionate about the art of connectivity. Accelerating others energized us all. #1MCOS
— Ben McDougal (@BENovator) September 7, 2017
This short video includes the full discussion and was shot live inside the studio. This isn’t the first time you’ve seen us sharing our story on air, but it is one of the best!