Opening Tasting Rooms During Coronavirus
Originally published 6/11/20
With many states starting to allow tasting rooms to reopen for safe gathering, how will your craft beverage business notify customers of any changes? The homepage of your website and social media posts are a great start, but they’re limited to current fans and followers. This email provides a press release template you can use to reach new drinkers in a moment they’re looking for a bit of “normal” in their lives.
For up-to-date resources on tasting room reopening, please reference your state Governor’s website or CDC.gov.
How does a press release make your craft beverage brand more discoverable?
Last time, we discussed online festival participation and how distributing a press release not only exposes your brand to new audiences, but helps promote the event for organizers. Similarly, a local tasting room reopening is a special event itself, and industry writers and influencers are eager to cover stories that help promote a gradual return to normal. In order to show up on a drinker’s news feed, we recommend:
- Knowing what’s newsworthy
- Picking 20 influential outlets
- Crafting your press release
Download our guide for more information and a list of regional and national news outlets/contacts.
knowing what’s newsworthy
The complete list of what your business is doing to keep staff and customers safe for reopening is necessary, but not news. State guidelines you have put into practice belong on tasting room signage and a dedicated webpage, not in your press release. Instead, consider the following:
- Date of reopen and any changes to hours of operation
- Introduction of a reservation system for guest convenience and safety
- New or redesigned outdoor spaces, patios, walking trails and picnic areas
- Notable relationships with food trucks or local restaurants for dine-in or delivery service
- New product releases available for drink-in, pickup or delivery
- Value-added promotional packages, like a food and beverage pairing
Beverage brands are innovating in real time now, so this is far from a complete list. If you’d like to discuss you reopen schedule and what’s newsworthy, pick a time on our calendar!
picking 20 influential outlets
Often called a media list, it represents the news outlets where you’d like to see your story published and their key contacts. This can be more mainstream (newspaper, magazine, TV, radio) or alternative (social media, celebrity/influencer, podcast), though the lines are increasingly blurred between the two. Choose outlets that favor craft beverage, for example:
- Local food and beverage or entertainment writers
- Your local National Public Radio (NPR) station or Associated Press Bureau
- Alt-weeklies and other lifestyle publications
- City event calendars
- Craft enthusiast groups
- Industry social media influencers
- Regionally-relevant news aggregators like BevNET, Shanken News Daily, WineBusiness.com and others
Send a note to your media contact first, asking if they’re the right person/if it’s okay to send your announcements. Nervous? Our complimentary guide helps you write and distribute your first craft beverage press release.
crafting your press release
A press release is the format for sharing the who, what, where and why with journalists to help them quickly determine whether your announcement is worthy of their readers. To help visualize a reopening press release from your business, we put together the following sample using available information and placeholder copy:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Market Your Craft
Reopening date announced for the tasting room at Market Your Craft
Newly-Redesigned Outdoor Space Welcomes Guests and Live Music
Lakewood, CO: Today, Market Your Craft, craft beverage producers in the Lakewood area, announced the reopening of one of their tasting rooms at 35 Van Gordon Street. Following three months of limited operations, Market Your Craft will again open its doors to customer drink-in service following recommended guidelines from the state Governor and local authorities.
“We are humbled by the community support we’ve received during the pandemic,” says Scott Kolbe on behalf of the team. “Since closing our doors to customer foot traffic in March, Market Your Craft quickly pivoted to online sales for curbside pickup and local delivery. The response has been amazing, but could never replace the vibe and energy of a packed tasting room. We’re excited to reopen in compliance with state guidelines and can’t wait to invite guests to enjoy our new outdoor space!”
During the slowdown, approximately 2,000 square feet of underutilized property immediately adjacent to the tasting room was repurposed to provide safe distance seating for an additional 150 guests. The reclaimed space includes a stage and outdoor bar service. A weekly list of entertainers and food trucks can be found at marketyourcraft.com/events, along with a new reservation system.
About Market Your Craft
Based in Lakewood, Colorado, Market Your Craft is a producer of craft beverages for today’s discerning drinker. Known for a number of award-winning beverages, they distribute locally to restaurants and beverage outlets in addition to serving customers of legal drinking age at their tasting rooms. A newly-redesigned patio area welcomes guests and private parties to enjoy year-round and seasonal favorites outdoors. Learn more at marketyourcraft.com.
Sending a press release in this format doesn’t guarantee your story will be picked up. It’s just the reality of reporting news — what’s notable to you might not register with journalists. We’ll help maximize your chances of being noticed with thoughtful outreach and engaging content. Already open? It’s not too late to share your story!