With social gatherings on pause, we’ve been talking about virtual beer festivals with a lot of event organizers. These online experiences can be a great way to support local craft breweries while keeping a tribe of beer lovers connected. Many aspects of a normal brewfest still exist within an online experience, so let’s look at what make these virtual beer festivals special and how you can host more great events.
Many people don’t know what they want, but are eager to sample your product. Customers who don’t know what beers they like, often chose a flight sampler. Flight menus allow you to feature preset pairings while creating a fun experience, boosting sales and saving time!
By activating a preset flight menu at your brewpub, restaurant or brewery, you can speed up the flight serving process, while still crafting a well-paired flight for your craft beer loving customer.
For consumers, nobody likes to stand in the front of a line and take a bunch of time trying to decide. A flight menu gives everyone an easy and most importantly, fast option for tapping into a fun beer tasting experience. The effect cocktail menus we see everyday, is why preset flight menus are something we’re excited about.
The FliteBrite dashboard (screenshot above) helps build and update your own preset flight menu from the active beers you have available at any given time. Once a preset flight is built, your staff can access them from the paddle and with a single click, they magically send the flight data up for analytical reporting and then have it instantly ready for the customer.
Preset flights save time.
More time almost always equates to increased revenue. Using preset flights allow you to prepare a nice flight pairing upfront and save time while making faster money overall. The FliteBrite crew has learned to really like preset flights for business and can help guide you through ideas that work.
Feel like it’s going to be to much work? Think again. You don’t need a ton of different preset flights to bring a nice little flight menu together. In fact, we think you can just have one, but it’s hard to stop there, so maybe start with two or three beer flights that you pair and sell as an item. If you’re serving #SmartFlights, you simply update your present menu from the online dashboard to make setup lightning fast for staff, then share your new flights with customers on your printed or digital menu. Custom flights will never go away, but we think you’ll find a bump in efficiency as people order what your team can whip together fast.
Wanna chat through your flight menu ideas? Let’s connect this week!
Trivia nights are fun and have become increasingly popular. It’s an easy event to host in almost any brewery, brewpub, restaurant or bar and adds one more reason for customers to head your way.
We know our electronic beer flight platform provides an enhanced customer experience, but since we enjoyed craft beer trivia at CBC17, we’ve added a few new angles to utilize as you bring #SmartFlights online.
Whether it’s a part of a trivia night or not, we’ve always been intrigued by the idea of flipping the ordering process. Instead of your serving staff taking the order, why can’t the customer have the option of setting up their smart beer flight? This not only saves time, but what if we used our platform to serve up a twist of fun. After you fulfill the order, imagine the beer flight being delivered with a little trivia game. Instead of highlighting which beer is which, we can now serve the flight with details hidden and then after a few guesses, the correct answers can dynamically appear! You know beer lovers will appreciate the chance to showoff, but at the core, you’re avoiding wasted time of people standing at the bar not knowing what they want, while engaging customers with a little brewtech gamification.
Many trivia nights involving craft beer include a tasting round where participants are invited to sample a few beers and then determine which is which. Using smart flights and built during our
CBC17 event at Penn Social, we have a more interactive way to deliver this beer tasting round. Start by determining the beers you’ll serve. Let’s assume you’re serving four to each person/team. Mark the sample cups with a 1, 2, 3 and 4. Make sure you pour the right beer into its assigned glass, and then deliver them in a random order to the trivia participant. Once received, an interactive beer tasting begins. To submit their answers, each team brings the flight back to the trivia organizer and received points for each beer correctly identified. You could add variances into this, such as styles, types of specific ingredients and more. It’s fun, super easy and offers a chance for customers to learn, rate and share what they like about each item served.
With our online dashboard that allows establishment owners to manage their active beer menu, one sneaky, but especially unique way of using smart flights on trivia night, is to actually hid answers within the details associated with different beers. All beer data automatically loads with accurate details from Untappd as you add new beers on your active menu, but all this information can be edited to include anything you want. Whether that’s a little promotional content or an answer to be found during trivia, we love the idea of a speed round that awards the people who can find the answer hidden, but still easy to find within their smart flights.
With our digital experience, the opportunities are endless, but let’s close with a few general thoughts. There are dedicated companies who can provide trivia nights, such as Geeks Who Drink, who makes this even easier to execute, but what have you done to make trivia successful at your establishment? Have you tried anything that didn’t go over well? When do you host trivia nights? We always suggest an early evening event on a slower weekday. We like Tuesdays for the memorable naming effect of calling it “Trivia Tuesday”, but you know if/how a trivia night will work best.
Engaging gamification paired with big data is a powerful combination and we’ve enjoyed exploring how FliteBrite can bring trivia nights to life. Whether it’s enhancing your trivia night or another hot idea, our team is here to break barriers and would love to hear how we can continue pushing the limits of your smart beer flight experience. Cheers!
I’m a guy, so this is not something that I learned easily, but my wife has taught me the value of a great presentation. Whether it’s a cheese plate that looks straight out of a magazine, the perfect steak plated up like a boss, or how you serve beer flights at your brewery, restaurant or even at your home bar, a little extra effort can go a long ways!
No matter the craft beer experience you’re serving, the initial presentation you deliver will determine one of your customer’s first responses. Make it a good one.
How you introduce your product completes the life cycle of a process you pour your heart into. You wouldn’t grill a perfect steak and then serve it on paper plate, right? Why would you create, buy or sell an amazing craft beer, just to hand it over on a piece of wet paper and hope that your part-time bartender scribbles the right name of something you care so much about?
Even if it’s not smart flights yet, we still hope you take pride in the way you present your beer flights! Everyone has great ideas on how to make it fun and we also thought we’d share a few quick things to remember:
When you serve four 5oz glasses of brew, that’s just under two full glasses of beer, with added variety and a little extra time to prepare. That’s worth more than some folks realize. Flights are a perfect doormat into your beers, so there’s value in a less expensive flight, but through years of research, we’ve learned the national average for a flight of four, is between $8-$12.
Smart flights are what we do at FliteBrite and the era of a more engaging beer flight is now. Shoot us a quick email and we’ll hook you up with a free trial paddle!
Yes, if your beer flight glasses are custom and cool, some will get stolen. The thing is, we can make these very inexpensive so you can just consider it swag marketing for your customers to enjoy your sweet looking beer flight glass at home. We can even help design your flight glassware to look perfect in your flight paddles.
It can be a nice conversation starter when you know a little extra about each brew. Pair your beer with intention and offer fun facts as you deliver the beer flight. Where it’s made, hop selection and other interesting ingredients are a great place to start.
You already know serving beer samples can take a bit of extra time, but if you and your team spend the time to serve beer flights wisely, you can easily boost your customer’s experience while adding a valuable revenue channel into your overall menu. Along with the fun of showcasing a well-paired beer flight and inspiring more informed customers, you’re making money on fractional pours and it creates a great environment for all to enjoy.
Think how much time you put into making your beers and building your brand. We know you take pride in every aspect of your craft, so complete your taproom experience and make people remember you by serving a beer flight that looks so amazing that everyone will want to order your beer flight experience again and again!
If you’re looking for ideas to make your beer flight truly stand out, we can help. Let’s bring your first 10 smart beer flights online and make your brewery or restaurant the talk of the town this year!
After a semester of planning, we established a real-world research project that pushed our electronic technology into the wild for the very first time! In collaboration with our friends at Exile Brewing Co., which is a Des Moines-based restaurant, taproom and brewery that distributes craft beer throughout Iowa, we were able to compare one week of “business as usual”, to one full week with smart beer flights online.
Our team and the MBA research team were given full access to financial data and surveys completed by actual customers as they compared beer sales, customer responses, social media activity, staff feedback and overall sales. We began seeing live data flowing into the online dashboard for the first time. It was crazy cool. In fact, if you’re willing to squint, here’s the actual survey! The results were just as tasty.
It’s hard not to notice the intriguing results from this valuable research. The cool part is that there’s even more super interesting data we’re excited to connect you with as you bring smart flights to your brewery, restaurant, taproom or bar. [ORDER NOW!]
It was also absolutely amazing to see live beer flight data flowing into the real-time online dashboard. You can also bet Ben, Ethan and Sinclair enjoyed the craft beer industry’s first smart beer flights served in the wild. Want a fun story? Ask about the Exile’s beer called “Jesus on a Forkilift”…for lunch, haha! One of our favorite quotes came from RJ Tursi, owner of Exile Brewing Co., during the research process as he said:
“People are loving the smart flights, both staff and customers. It’s a kick ass product.”
On behalf of the FliteBrite family, we’d like to thank Kenton, George and James for their commitment to outstanding research. We’d also like to thank Wade Steenhoek and the University of Iowa Tippie College of Business for giving us this opportunity to continue quantifying smart beer flights. Last, but certainly not least, thanks again to RJ and the entire crew at Exile Brewing Co. for being the world’s first establishment to serve a brighter flight of craft beer.
Contact Us to learn how easy it is to bring smart beer flights to your business!
We’ll be back soon everyone 🍻 pic.twitter.com/BU0JPSFkyO
— FliteBrite (@FliteBrite) October 26, 2016
When you talk business startups, it’s often said that team comes first, and then an idea with the market it will impact. The team at FliteBrite is complimentary in a crazy sort of way and we’re lucky to have some of the top talent around working together to bring FliteBrite to life.
One of the team’s latest little side ideas was to all listen to an audiobook by Seth Godin, called We Are All Weird. Ben has listened to many of his audiobooks, such The Icarus Deception and Tribes, and seems to swear by Godin’s writings. Anyways, it was an easy file exchange and has inspired the title and slightly off-topic nature of this short story.
Ok. So as you listen and learn from Seth, one interesting connection we’ve noticed is that the friendly craft beer community, is absolutely full of fun people who enjoy being weird. Not an alienating type of weird, but a weird that challenged the status quo and what it means to be normal. Normal is boring. People want weird.
No longer are we the mass crowd all drinking the same lagers. In fact, it’s almost like the funkier someone can brew up a great craft beer, the more we all appreciate the effort and that’s so cool!
From homebrewers to the biggest breweries in town, it feels like everyone who is passionate about the beer they brew, has made a choice to break loose from the status quo. Like so much of our world in the connected era, choice is everywhere, attention is almost like a currency and tribes grow faster with so much available communication online. It’s more interesting choosing to be weird. Being weird means you’re choosing to challenge the status quo in whatever way that may be. It’s more interesting to make your passion something that also results in a paycheck, and we’re sure you enjoy working with your team who can also be supported through your leadership.
The epic battle of our generation is between the status quo of mass, and the never ceasing tide of weird.#WeAreAllWeird
— Ben McDougal (@BENovator) August 25, 2016
To stand out and to have more people talking more often, and more in tune with the beer and brands you create. The craft beer community has definitely been one of the very best parts of building FliteBrite and we know many of you are in the restaurant, brewpub or bar scene. It’s fun, haha! It’s also challenging and modern breweries are not a small investment to start or easy to run. It takes a true commitment to bring a decent sized, profitable brewery to town. Even more resources and expertise can be required if you choose to tap into the opportunity of distributing your craft beer in cans or bottles. In short, the craft beer industry is a growing industry where owners and management must stay smart to survive, but stay ahead to thrive.
Fortunately, many of these folks are going big and everyone loves it all. Serving craft beer is almost a stacked bet if you’re passionate about your business. People don’t ever seem disappointed with too much choice when it comes to craft beer and they’ll keep coming back as you expand the options you serve on your tap line! Why not get weird, creative and have fun with your brews on tap! The best part? You’ll generate more intrigue (and profits) as you also serve more beer flights on smart paddles that make you the absolute talk of the town.
— Ben McDougal (@BENovator) August 25, 2016
You’ve brewed a taste unlike any other and for the first time, your thoughtful brand, creative names and quick features of all your brews can now be truly connected to the beer lovers you create. People have never seen anything like FliteBrite! They’ll remember you being weird and also unlock a new level of connected loyalty towards your brand.
Yes, leasing a collection of smart paddles costs a bit more than paper and pencil or messy chalkboards, but these things sell more beer, make you look awesome, generate valuable data and introduce a new level of customer engagement. Whether you’re the owner, head brewer, marketing guru, management of bartending staff, you’ll see your brand being represented the way you want through the interactivity of a beer flight, while helping to support a more connected, entertaining and even educational beer flight experience.
FliteBrite is proud to be building our technology within the craft beer community and are having fun connecting with establishments throughout the country, who are all ready for the future of beer flights. Let’s chat about you bringing some fresh weird into your establishment today! Let us know how many paddles you want on our order form here: http://www.FliteBrite.com/pre-order/
With craft beer everywhere, more breweries, restaurants and bars are serving a wider variety of beers on tap. Some have more beer taps than others, but when establishments cater to their thirsty customer’s desire with an expanded variety of craft beers, they often experience a boost in customer engagement, increased loyalty and in the end, an opportunity to sell more beer.
Whether an establishment offers 10 or 100+ beers on tap, showcasing the assortment of brews on tap is key. Beer flights are the best way to do this, so let’s consider the value of beer flights.
Does your brewery team have a taproom serving your own craft brews? Perhaps you’re a restaurant or bar serving the latest favorites from breweries nationwide? Either way, it’s fun offering people great new beers to try. This keeps your establishment fresh and introducing new craft beers to friends is fun! If you’re the one their buying beer flights from, even better, eh! Beer flights offer the interactive activity of featuring more beers all at once. The smaller flight quantity is usually around two full pint glasses worth of beer, so it’s not overwhelming for newcomers, while still providing enough awesome beer (and a more enjoyable beer tasting experience) to beer-loving enthusiasts.
Whether it’s the newcomer casually enjoying the beer tasting or people who are ready to check-in their next favorite beer on an app like Untappd, part of the fun people have with beer flights is the opportunity to learn a little about something they enjoy. Craft beer is now just as sophisticated as wine and we have connoisseurs who love the craft beer community a lot. It’s a fun place to be and entertaining to say the least. Providing a great time and now a new way to entertain patrons with an interactive, almost gamified beer flight experience.
SIDE NOTE: This story is written as general industry insight, but we have found FliteBrite, so let’s just be honest. People will love you for bringing our smart flights to your brewery, restaurant or bar. Our entertaining and super functional flight paddles will make you the talk of the town!
Contact us to hook up an easy one-year lease that has no upfront costs and is less than the price of a pint or two per month! Learn more at www.FliteBrite.com/pre-order.
You don’t have to be an expert to enjoy beer. Like anything, when a group of people enjoy a common thing together, community is formed. Within any community, folks often enjoy knowing more about what other community members enjoy. This builds “social currency” and makes you more interesting. In this case, it’s the expanding craft beer community. This craft beer community is made of fun, friendly, smart and collaborative people who like tasting a variety of beers, tasting how styles compare and even learning how craft beer is made. Being an enthusiast about anything is one of life’s simple gifts. Like any knowledge, many folks are most interested in interesting, helpful and resource-saving tips. Why share all this philosophical mojo? Smart beer flights fuel a more informed beer enthusiast. Newcomers will begin getting more interested, The casual enthusiast starts tracking their favorites and the beer experts continue to lead the way. At all levels of engagement, customers will convert to friendly fans who come to your place for the best beer flight. This results in more sales. Do you like making more money? Supporting all levels of beer enthusiasm can be great for any sized brewery or restaurant. Think of serving beer flights like a simple and fun way to tighten the craft beer-loving tribe worldwide.
Time and money are required to keep anyone’s doors open in the food and beverage industry. Owners keep an eye on the budget and every dollar counts. One of the most obvious values of beer flights is that they add another level to your menu and are so easy to implement. If you have beer on tap, all you need to get started is a small collection of beer flight glasses, a quick add in your POS system and a way to serve the beer flights to customers. Beer flights can vary in price points, but most four-glass beer flights range between $10-$20. Yes, it takes a few more seconds to pour a flight compared to one pint glass, but doesn’t an added revenue source that leads to more beer pints a easy way to provide more options and make more sales.
The flip side of the coin is if you’re not currently serving beer flights. If a customer visits your bar and isn’t quite sure on what they want, many times the friendly bartender offers free sample tastings. This is how it should be done and we’re not talking about much, but at the core, this is lost beer. As we all know, sometimes it may take a few more free samples until the customer selects a full glass! To reduce free samples while still being awesome with costumers, introduce the beer flight as your offering the first free sample. This will encourage the customer to either choose a full glass or go straight into a more involved and revenue-generating flight.
When you consider the resources required to build a brewery or restaurant, time can be one of the most fundamentally valuable assets you need. Money supports what you want to spend your time on and anyone in the industry knows that the passion required for building any business takes passion and an unmatched time commitment. If your entire team is properly efficient, the more time you’re selling product, the more revenue is made on a daily basis. More revenue gives your business options, so even if it’s the time your bartenders are spending serving each order, time is money and saving it is sweet. Think about the time you’ll save when you start serving smart beer flights with FliteBrite. People can engage more with the beer and your establishment even when you’re not around. You can also avoid wasting time when your staff waits on indecisive customers who aren’t quite ready to commit to a full glass. Serve a quick beer flight and you’ll convert time-wasting “ummmmmms” into a quick opportunity to pitch the smart beer flight that will lead to favorites and a more confident order. Efficiency improves and the enlightened customer loves you for serving them options that lead to a great beer they’ll love you for.
The value of beer flights is clear. If you’re the investor type, we’d call this a beer flight’s valuation. Beer flights provide a more diverse way of featuring great beers while engaging more enthusiast customers. If you plug into FliteBrite’s electronic serving system, your smart beer flights will unlock a new level of entertaining, educating, revenue-boosting and time-saving ways to serve the most exciting beer flights around. Let’s do this.
Let’s begin by noting there is no absolute correct way to enjoy a craft beer flight, haha! With that disclaimer outta the way, let’s look at a few fun ways to mix things up.
One of the most iconic ways to enjoy a beer flight is by pairing beers in a way that has their colors going from light to dark. Similar to wine flights, this can be a good way to start with a nice light taste and work towards something a bit more complex. If flights are served in the taproom or restaurant, ask your friendly bartender to whip up a beer flight based on color to enjoy a great overall variety of craft beer.
Perhaps it’s a flight of only light, fresh beers on a hot summer day? Maybe it’s a collection of brown and amber ales for the Fall or even dark stouts and porters when the snow flies. Creating a beer flight made up of only your favorite style or type of beer can be a great time and fun to share with friends. You may also consider trying a beer flight of the most hoppy brews on tap. If this is something you wanna try, look for high IBU levels of somewhere around 40+ IBUs and enjoy the different scents of fresh hops.
We have craft beers for any occasion. Mixing up some seasonal beers into a flight creates a fun way to celebrate the season with family and friends. Anyone do flights at the home bar? Maybe that might be fun this holiday season!
If money isn’t an issue, try pairing your next beer flight by how much each beer costs. Lighter beers often cost less, while the beers with more ingredients or a more involved process (like barrel aging) reflect a higher price point. Whether it’s moving from cheap to pricey on your flight or pairing the most expensive beers on a menu, this can be an interesting way to learn why different beers are priced differently and help you determine the general range you like best.
If you drink a lot of beer, you know the value of great taste in a less alcoholic beer, but it can be fun to bring in the big guns once in awhile too. If you’re feeling frisky, try pairing beers that range in their ABV level. On average, the ABV for beer is 5%, but did you know the highest ABV in beer is 67.5%?! In comparison, the average ABV of wine is 11% and liquor is 37%. Try pairing your next flight from lowest to highest or ask to have all the lowest (or highest) ABVs all on one sampler.
When you’re at a restaurant and they have a collection of different breweries represented on tap, a great beer flight pairing can be a selection of four beers from a single brewery. It’s a quick way to taste the latest from a place you may start to like.
A beer flight doesn’t always have to lead you to a full pint! If you find a favorite on your first beer sampler, try having two of the flight glasses filled with that same beer you liked best, then add two new beers to complete a fun follow-up flight that includes your favorite, but still has a few new ones to keep things interesting.
Don’t feel obligated to get all new beers when enjoying your next beer flight. Including a favorite with any flight is an easy way to get you off to a good start, while providing a quick baseline as you explore new beers in your next sampler.
Good luck and have fun pairing your next creative beer flight. We hope you’ve enjoyed these fun ways to mix things up and we’d love to see you share a photo of your next beer flight on the FliteBrite Instagram channel or @FliteBrite on Twitter with the hashtag #SmartFlights.
A beer flight is an assortment of craft beers, often four; served together in small beer flight glasses.
There are 16 ounces in your full pint glass, so the beer flight is a fun way for customers to try different brews in smaller, 5-7oz. beer flight glasses. Ordering a variety of well-paired brews is one of the best ways to enjoy craft beer.
With craft beer unstoppable and beer flights being served almost everywhere, it’s crazy to consider the prehistoric way beer flights are actually served. In fact, think back to the last time you were served a flight of beer and how quickly you forgot which beer is which!
Some establishments provide hand-scratched titles for each beer, but this can be confusing, messy and wasteful. Beyond that, how can customers learn more about the beers in their flight, track their favorites and stay connected after they leave the taproom or restaurant?
The method to which beer flights are served has been overlooked and represents a missed opportunity, until now.
The age of serving blind beer flights will soon be over.
Smart flight paddles now allow the modern customer to easily enjoy entertaining education while tapping into more connectivity with the craft beer, breweries and restaurants they enjoy.
With accurate beer titles, interesting details and the ability to share the beer flight experience throughout social media, the evolved beer flight has become a more dynamic, engaging and enjoyable experience for all.