Homegrown Business: BeerGuys

Our Homegrown Business feature this week is The BeerGuys. They began in 2016 as a marketing & promotions group for the local craft beer industry, and to help drive traffic for local businesses. This led to the creation of Calgary Beer Week in 2017, and the BeerGuys Craft Club in 2018.

As business owners & marketing executives with a love for supporting local, they launched the BeerGuys Craft Club as a loyalty rewards program for those who share their passion for local business. Through various channels, their goal is to provide fellow craft beer drinkers with valuable offers & events in an effort to increase traffic & awareness for our partner locations.

When a community comes together to support local, everyone benefits!

Taken at YYC Beer Week 2019. From Left Matthew Wilson, Co-Founder, Evan Candido, Chief Brand Ambassador and Randy Witty, Co-Founder. Missing: Allison Onyett, Chief Marketing Officer. Photo Credit: Bingo Smith Productions

What is your business called and what does it do?

BeerGuys is a group dedicated to the growth and support of the craft beer industry, local businesses and community. Since BeerGuys’ inception in 2016, we have grown from a social media handle promoting local breweries, to now include a full-blown annual YYC Beer Week in June, the BeerGuys Craft Club, and most recently the launch of the the app which is designed to better steer Craft Club members and non-members alike to local brews.

Throughout all of these milestones, we have managed to make supporting the breweries and the community our number one priority and have managed to contribute over $87,500 to charities through both the beer week and the Craft Beer Club, as well as $450,000 in local economic spending.

What made you want to do this work?

Back in 2016 when the craft beer scene in Calgary was beginning to boom, we were meeting up on a regular basis to try different craft beers. Over a couple of beers, we decided to start a twitter handle and share our findings with our followers. As the craft beer scene grew, so did our following.

In 2017 we started YYC Beer Week, followed by the launch of the Craft Beer Club in 2018 which provides our members exclusive deals and discounts at over 57 establishments. In 2019 we launched the app which allows members and non-members alike to better find craft beer in Calgary.

What problem does this solve?

The main mission of BeerGuys is to drive awareness and ROI for breweries and partners by increasing taproom traffic. Calgary has an ever-growing craft beer scene and we want to see these small businesses succeed. It’s for that reason, that while there is a nominal fee for the Craft Beer Club, we don’t charge the breweries to participate, just another way we can give back to the industry.

There’s a lot of people out there who have never experienced craft beer. The app, the club and the beer week are all designed to encourage Calgarians and now Albertans to get out there and experience the beer in their own backyard.

Lastly, through everything we do, we give back through our monthly, and beer week charity partners.

Who are your clientele/demographics?

Our audience is 44% women and 56% men, 80% of which are between the ages of 25 – 44. We are targeting both the beer connoisseur and the novice who is just looking to try something new and support something local.

How does your business make money? How does it work?

Quite frankly, BeerGuys started out as a passion project – a way to engage and excite Calgarians about Calgary’s craft beer scene. We cover our costs through the Craft Beer Club, and make a donation to our monthly charity partner. Naturally, as the club continues to expand, so will our revenues and charitable donations.

Where in Calgary can we find your profession?

Membership information is available at www.beerguys.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @beerguysyyc and @beerguysedm, and follow us on Facebook at BeerGuysYYC and BeerGuysEDM.

What is the best question a prospective customer could ask a member of your profession when comparing services?

To be honest, we haven’t come across another company yet that does what we do, the way we do it. But the most frequent question we get asked, is why join the club? And the best answer is simply because not only does it usually pay for itself in one visit to a participating venue, it will encourage you to support local and try something new in your city. Not to mention you will be giving back to local charities just by drinking a beer.

What is the best part about what you do? What is the worst part?

The best part is easily seeing members out and about exploring the craft beer scene in their own city and getting to know Calgary brewers, their families and their stories. To be honest, we haven’t really found a worst part yet, which is why we continue to do it. It’s a lot of work, but it doesn’t feel like work with a pint in your hand!

What is your favourite joke about your own profession?

We joke all the time that it’s literally part of our job to drink beer and visit breweries – it doesn’t get much better than that!

PAY IT FORWARD: What is another Calgary business that you love?

We love Plainsbreakers. These guys started coming to our BeerGuys meet ups and we got to know them fairly well. They started out as a husband and wife duo making and selling socks.

After meeting us, we were able to connect them with a local shopping centre, where they ended up opening up shop and expanded their business to include local products from various vendors. To date, their store is doing really well from what we’ve heard, and we love that we got to play a small part in the growth of their business. www.plainsbreakerapparel.com