a VineSpring Story
The Bruery is a boutique craft brewery located in Orange County, CA specializing in barrel-aged and experimental ales. IN 2015, THE COMPANY LAUNCHED BRUERY TERREUX TO FOCUS EXCLUSIVELY ON SOUR AND WILD BEERS. IN 2017, THE COMPANY LAUNCHED OFFSHOOT BEER CO. TO SPECIALIZE IN FRESH, HOP-FORWARD BEERS. ALL THREE BRANDS - THE BRUERY, BRUERY TERREUX AND OFFSHOOT BEER CO. ARE SUPPORTED ON THE VINESPRING PLATFORM TODAY.
The Bruery was founded by Patrick Rue, as a small, friend-and-family-run business in 2008. Patrick picked up homebrewing as a hobby while in law school, and as his hobby evolved into an obsession, he took the risk and started a business instead of taking the California bar exam.
The company teems with the excitement that Patrick felt in those first years of homebrewing. Each beer is a new challenge to develop distinctive and imaginative beer. Nearly half of Bruery beer is aged in wine or spirit barrels bringing out flavors reminiscent of the Belgian countryside or classic American distillers.
Their business is focused on creating a place where their customers and employees feel valued and get to drink beers that they are excited about. The Bruery works to pull concepts together into a beer that might taste like a white chocolate candy bar or a Manhattan cocktail with a little bit of bourbon barrel aged character to it, all to delight and surprise. A beer from Bruery Terreux, on the other hand, might remind you of a fine, oak-aged wine from California.
Joel Kennedy is the Retail Marketing Manager at The Bruery. He is responsible for ensuring an incredible customer experience across a variety of groups—Society Members, tasting room visitors, and online consumers. Much of his time is spent focusing on the story they are telling about their beer, who they are telling that story to, where to place and release the beers.
"Our history is founded in inspired brewing—creating beer that bring us back to memories, thoughts of our favorite foods, favorite drinks that we like to have, places where we might of experienced certain flavors and being able to pull that together into a bottle."
As a result of his dynamic role, he is obsessed with all of the pieces and tools that support the sales experience. This includes the management of their eCommerce and club management system.
In 2009, The Bruery released Black Tuesday, a big imperial stout aged in bourbon barrels that in its first release landed at 18% ABV. The team had been telling the story of Black Tuesday on the blog, and when release day arrived, there was a huge line outside of the tasting room of people waiting to buy a beer that they had never tasted. This overwhelming interest got Patrick, the owner, thinking that if people line up for a beer they’ve never tasted before, they might want to sign up for guaranteed access to more beers like Black Tuesday. So, The Bruery looked to the wine club model and created their clubs that gave beer enthusiasts a way to sign up for access to exclusive Bruery beers.
To make the club a reality, The Bruery found themselves facing the challenge of selling their beer and merchandise online. They found a system that worked for a little while but as their business evolved, and website requirements changed, they needed another solution.
They needed a system that could handle allocations and offer the ability to define the products that different types of visitors can view. Another requirement was reporting capabilities to monitor sales and see the status of orders. Finally, the system they selected needed to have enough scalable support for their big beer releases. With thousands of visitors coming to their site all at once, it was critical that their eCommerce system had the capacity and wouldn’t run the risk of crashing their site.
After researching available systems, The Bruery narrowed it down to VineSpring.
“VineSpring more closely aligned with our business model and had more capabilities that we were interested in leveraging, like different levels of club access.”
The Bruery and VineSpring teams worked together to transition their data from their old system into VineSpring so that they would be able to have the customer's history, previous orders, and membership levels in the new system.
Additionally, The Bruery uses the integration with MailChimp to set up different tiered allocations. They also customized the design of VineSpring through WordPress to create a seamless experience for their customers.
“The system has been great. We had a major release this past week where we had over 1,000 different people hit the site within a minute, and the site scaled up and was able to facilitate orders, no problem.”
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