We’ve been waiting a looong time for in-person beer festivals to return. This made the 2021 Iowa Craft Brew Festival special. Our beer festival app was in full effect (with a few new features!) and the Best of Fest Award was up for grabs. It was great to catch up with so many friends from all around Iowa, while making a bunch of new ones as well.
The Iowa Brewers Guild has traditionally hosted #ICBF in the heart of downtown Des Moines and while the urban vibe was always cool, this year’s shift to a more spacious, natural environment was well-received. The live music was fun too! Below is our festival summary and a few photos to highlight this triumphant return to brewfests.
#BrrrFest was a blast.
We returned to Coralville, Iowa for their 9th annual winter beer festival. Our beer festival app was back in action and easier to manage than ever. Event organizers spent no time herding tigers, yet 100% of the 61 vendors had their BrrFest beer lists looking sharp! This allowed 3,000+ attendees to rate any of the 300 craft beers being poured. In fact, before the doors even opened, 3,323 beers were added to wish lists, which continues to prove our platform builds hype, sells tickets and is appreciated by hop heads planning their own brewfest experience.
Once the doors opened, our team enjoyed sharing stories of our good friend Dan from Firetrucker and celebrating endless good beer with a community of beer lovers and the artists who brew them. Attendees rated more beers than last year’s event and after a tight race that saw beers going up and down the leaderboard, the Iowa Brewers Guild was proud to deliver our Best of Fest Award to Big Grove Brewery. Here’s the milestone moment and a few words from our winners on video, as well as, our full 2020 festival summary and highlight photos. Cheers!
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.
The official debut of our beer festival app was flawless and it was so exciting to have #ICBF vendors, attendees and our friends from the Iowa Brewers Guild all enjoying this fresh way to track, rate and share tons of amazing craft beers.
“The Bens” arrived early to confirm the beer list’s accuracy in our app and to install our smelly signs (see below, haha!). Once doors opens, we met up with industry allies and sampled tons of outstanding beers before leaving early to finish celebrating our beer festival app working flawlessly to allow 3,200+ thirsty attendees to track their craft beer adventure in a whole new way!
Throughout the day, Ben McDougal (left) made a special effort to track every single one of his beer tastings. Click to see his full tasting list, but when it was all said and done, he personally visited 27% of the vendors and drank just 9.7% of the available beers being served. That was still 21 different beers, which Ben continues to revisit when he sits in front of large Iowa tap lines.
Coconut Migration from SingleSpeed Brewing was McDougal’s personal “best of show”, while he returned to Lark and 515 Brewing for a few different hoppy concoctions. It’s also clear he was on the prowl for DIPA and along with his tasting notes, Ben racked up 15 different Untappd badges from all his check-ins.
Our ability to give beer enthusiasts a fun and accurate way to learn more about their festival favorites (which they used to forget after the second beer tasting) is just so damn cool! Speaking of cool…
“My favorite part has been seeing so many people using what we built!” -Ben Sinclair
The most intriguing thing was that our app tracked 4,419 total beer check-ins, rated by 1,291 different users! The most popular beer style was IPA, then sours, NEIPA and pale ale. The highest rated beer was 6th Anniversary Stout from Backpocket Brewing, while vendors with the most beer ratings were Barn Town Brewing, Confluence Brewing and 515 Brewing. It’s also interesting to consider that an attendee’s rating at a live event may actually be more of an “experience rating” based on the vendor’s presentation, paired with the actual beer being rated. The traffic timeline was also neat and here’s post-event data the Iowa Brewers Guild shared after the event.
This type of meaningful data, generated by an easy and fun tool for beer loving attendees, has us very excited. Our ability to setup any beer festival with a smart flight experience gives vendors a quantifiable way to showcase their craft beers with thirsty attendees and truly may turn out to be the key to a more sustained business.
One super cool side effect is how our beer festival app also unlocks meaningful conversations with breweries and brewpubs. We walked around the festival before gates opened and took a moment with each beer-serving vendor to confirm their beer list was 100% accurate in our app. With a total of 362 different beers served, there were a few changes we did on the fly and people appreciated us stopping by. More of those types of interactions will begin to connect the other side of our smart beer flight platform into more taprooms, bars and restaurants as well!
Startup life requires weird marketing to connect smart people with new ideas. Below are a few more highlights from our app’s debut beer festival, including this sign we put on every one of the 25+ port-a-potties! Fortunately, the installation was early in the day, haha! It felt a bit dirty, but we were committed to making sure everyone knew how to access their own smart beer sampling experience.
Jokes aside, the Iowa Craft Brew Festival felt like the beginning of something special. Our team is energized and we have more paying customers eager to invest in this handy tool that will soon enhanced even more craft beer events nationwide. Cheers!
— FliteBrite (@FliteBrite) June 16, 2018
Do you organize events where craft beer tastings are featured?
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!